Official digital currency of China not yet to be issued: Central bank

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(People’s Daily Online)    16:59, June 22, 2017
Official digital currency of China not yet to be issued: Central bank
File photo

China is not yet ready to issue an official digital currency of the nation, nor has it authorized any institute to do so. This is according to China’s central bank, which made the statement to address rising digital currency fraud and virtual currency prices.

According to a notice issued by the Gold and Silver Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the so-called digital currency in the market now is not legal, as the central bank has not yet issued a legal currency.

The PBOC said at a January seminar that it will issue official digital currency as soon as possible. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, elaborated that the digital currency issued by the PBOC will be mainly responsible for replacing cash, so as to bring down costs and improve the efficiency of circulation.

The concept of digital currency is increasingly popular, especially as certain forms like Bitcoin gain value. The PBOC warned that some institutes and companies promoting digital currency are likely perpetrating pyramid schemes or other fraud. As early as 2013, Bitcoin was classified as a virtual commodity rather than a legal currency.

Issued by the Jiangsu Internet Finance Association in April, a report on Chinese internet pyramid schemes observed that there are over a dozen digital currencies in China, all of which are “illegal pyramid schemes in the disguise of digital currencies.”

In May, a court in Peixian County, Jiangsu province sentenced a man to four years in prison for organizing a pyramid scheme in the name of promoting “Markcoin” and “Vikcoin.” The organization turned out to have lured hundreds of thousands of clients, and the amount of money involved potentially reached hundreds of millions of RMB.

 

Source  :  People’s Daily Online

Xi urges efforts to boost integrated military and civilian development

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(Xinhua)    08:06, June 21, 2017

BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday underscored centralized and unified leadership to boost integrated military and civilian development.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks at the first plenary meeting of the central commission for integrated military and civilian development, which he heads.

Upgraded as a national strategy, integrated military and civilian development is a major achievement of China’s long-term exploration of coordinated development of economic and national defense construction, Xi said.

It is also a major decision concerning national development and overall security, and a major measure to deal with complicated security threats and gain national strategic advantages, Xi said.

Li Keqiang, Liu Yunshan and Zhang Gaoli, who are all members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also deputy heads of the commission, also attended the meeting.

Working rules and recent tasks of the commission, as well as a guideline on setting up local leading and working organs for integrated military and civilian development, were adopted at the meeting.

The military and civilian integration must be based on the situation of the country, Xi said, noting the integration process must bear distinctive Chinese characteristics.

“The ideas, decisions and plans of military and civilian integration must be fully implemented in all fields of national economic and defense construction and in the whole processes,” Xi said.

The integration should value national socialist advantage of pooling resources to solve major problems and raising working efficiency, Xi said.

The integration must combine state guidance with the market’s role, and comprehensively employ institutional innovation, policy support and legal guarantee to give full play to military and civilian integration, he said.

Xi also noted that the ultimate approach to deepening military and civilian integration lies in reform and innovation, calling for pilot schemes and exemplary models to explore new ways, and expand new space for military and civilian integration.

He also highlighted the proper use of the law in guiding and protecting the integrating procedure and called for improvement in market entry to encourage a larger number of competent enterprises, staff, technology and capital to play a role.

On deepening integrated military and civilian development, Xi called for focusing on key areas such as infrastructure, national defense-related sci-tech industry, weapon and equipment procurement, talent cultivation, socialization of the support system for the military, as well as the mobilization for national defense.

Ideas and requirements of integrated military and civilian development should be implemented in the fields of sea, outer space, cyber space, biology and new energy, Xi said.

 

Source :  Xinhua

China home to 7 of top 10 largest ports in world

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By Du Xiaofei (People’s Daily Online)    15:15, June 20, 2017

China currently boasts seven of the top 10 ports in the world based on cargo and container throughput.

“There are at least 34 ports with a handling capacity over 100 million tons in China,” said Liu Peng, an official with the Ministry of Transport, on June 12.

The fourth phase of Shanghai Yangshan Deepwater Port is designed to make the port fully automated, the largest and most advanced of any comparable port in the world. It is expected to be put into operation by the end of this year. When construction is completed, the throughput will account for half the total volume that passes through Shanghai, consolidating the Shanghai port’s position as the world’s largest.

While the volume of throughput is on the rise, Chinese ports are striving to upgrade their functions. Operations have gradually expanded from traditional loading, unloading and storage to professional logistics and commodity transactions.

Cruises have also become a reliable source of revenue for Chinese ports; by 2016, ports in China had received 2.18 million tourists on international cruises, a 79 percent increase year on year.

 

Source  :  People’s Daily Online

NW China’s Qinghai province to be powered by clean energy for seven consecutive days

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(People’s Daily Online)    15:42, June 19, 2017

Northwestern China’s Qinghai province is surging toward a new record: coverage of the region’s full electricity consumption by renewable energy for seven consecutive days, set to occur this week.

During a 168-hour period lasting from June 17 to 24, 78.3 percent of Qinghai’s electricity demand, estimated to reach 175 million kWh per day, will be met by hydro power, while the remaining 21.7 percent will be met by solar and other new-energy resources, according to Qinghai Electric Power Company, an affiliate of the State Grid Corporation.

Solar power has been expanding aggressively in the hydroelectricity-rich Qinghai in recent years. Since the beginning of the 12th Five-Year Plan period in 2011, the province has witnessed annual solar growth of 58 percent when measured by installed capacity. Solar power, ranking behind hydro power, has been the second largest energy source for Qinghai.

Portugal achieved its own zero emissions landmark last year in a 107-hour run, during which the entire country was powered by renewable energy.

“This is the first test in China and it is very meaningful to China’s green growth transformation,” said Quan Shengming, general manager of Qinghai Electric Power Company. If everything proceeds smoothly, Qinghai will beat Portugal’s impressive record.

In the long run, Qinghai plans to increase its renewable installed capacity to 61 million kW by 2025, and then provide as much as 11 billion kWh of electricity to central and eastern provinces every year – equivalent to the generation capacity of 50 million tons of raw coal.

 

Source  :  People’s Daily Online

China’s two supercomputers still world’s fastest as U.S. squeezed out of 3rd place

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(Xinhua)    18:56, June 19, 2017
 

WUXI, June 20, 2016 (Xinhua) — Photo taken on June 20, 2016 shows Sunway TaihuLight, a new Chinese supercomputer, in Wuxi, east China’s Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Xiang) (File photo)

 

WASHINGTON, June 19 — China’s Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2 are still the world’s fastest and second fastest machines, but America’s Titan was squeezed into fourth place by an upgraded Swiss system, according to the latest edition of the semiannual T0P500 list of supercomputers released Monday.

CHINA’S HOMEGROWN SUPERCOMPUTERS

Sunway TaihuLight, described by the T0P500 list as “far and away the most powerful number-cruncher on the planet,” maintained the lead since last June, when it dethroned Tianhe-2, the former champion for the previous three consecutive years.

It means that a Chinese supercomputer has topped the rankings maintained by researchers in the United States and Germany for nine times in a row.

What’s more, Sunway TaihuLight, with a performance of 93 petaflops, was built entirely using processors designed and made in China.

“It highlights China’s ability to conduct independent research in the supercomputing field,” Haohuan Fu, deputy director of the National Supercomputing Center, where Sunway TaihuLight was installed, told Xinhua.

“China is simultaneously developing hardware and software technologies of supercomputers,” Fu said. “It is expected that rapid development in homegrown hardware technologies, supported by homegrown software, will lead to a stronger research and engineering test capacity in many fields, thus promoting an industrial upgrading and, eventually, a sustainable development of China’s homegrown supercomputing industry.”

Tianhe-2, capable of performing 33.9 petaflops, was based on Intel chips, something banned by the U.S. government from selling to four supercomputing institutions in China since 2015.

SWISS SYSTEM “REALLY A SURPRISE”

In the latest rankings, the new number three supercomputer is the upgraded Piz Daint, a system installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center.

Its current performance of 19.6 petaflops pushed Titan, a machine installed at the U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, into fourth place. Titan’s performance of 17.6 petaflops has remained constant since it was installed in 2012.

“This is the second time in the 24-year history of the TOP500 list that the United States has failed to secure any of the top three positions,” the TOP500 organizers said in a statement.

The only other time this occurred was in November 1996, when three Japanese systems captured the top three spots.

“Nevertheless, the U.S. still claims five of the top 10 supercomputers, which is more than any other nation,” they said.

Fu called the upgraded Swiss system “really a surprise,” saying that “it reflects the increased investment in large-scale supercomputers in Europe.”

AMERICA’S STRONG STRENGTH

“Although the U.S. dropped out of the top three, it still has strong strength in high performance computing,” Fu told Xinhua. “If everything goes well, we could see two U.S. systems with a performance of 200 to 300 petaflops in the next rankings at the end of the year.”

Just days before the TOP500 announcement, the U.S. Department of Energy said it has awarded AMD, Cray, HP Enterprise, IBM, Intel and NVIDIA a total of 258 million U.S. dollars in funding to accelerate the development of next-generation supercomputers.

“Continued U.S. leadership in high performance computing is essential to our security, prosperity, and economic competitiveness as a nation,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a recent statement.

The immediate goal of the United States is to develop at least one exascale-capable system by 2021, which will be at least 10 times faster than China’s Sunway TaihuLight.

“Global competition for this technological dominance is fierce,” the U.S. Department of Energy asserted. “However, the U.S. retains global leadership in the actual application of high performance computing to national security, industry, and science.”

In addition, the latest list showed that the United States leads the pack in the total number of TOP500 systems, with 169, while China is a close second with 160. Both countries lost share compared to six months ago, when they each claimed 171 systems.

Besides the United States and China, the most well-represented countries on the list are Japan, with 33 supercomputers, Germany, with 28, France, with 18, and Britain, with 17.

Overall, aggregate performance on the TOP500 rose to 749 petaflops, a 32 percent jump from a year ago.

Such an increase, though, is well below the list’s historical growth rate of about 185 percent per year, said the organizers.

“The slower growth in list performance is a trend that began in 2013, and has shown no signs of reversal,” they said.

When it comes to companies making these systems, the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard Enterprise claims the number one spot with 143 supercomputers. China’s Lenovo is the second most popular vendor, with 88 systems, and Cray is in third place, with 57.

There are three other Chinese companies in the vendor list: Sugon (No. 4 with 44 systems), Inspur (No. 6 with 20 systems) and Huawei (No. 7 with 19 systems).

The Top500 list is considered one of the most authoritative rankings of the world’s supercomputers. It is compiled on the basis of the machines’ performance on the Linpack benchmark by experts from the United States and Germany.

 

Source  :  Xinhua

Economic Watch: A glimpse of China’s mid-year online shopping spree

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(Xinhua)    08:06, June 19, 2017

An advertisement of 2017 JD.com “6/18” shopping festival (file photo)

BEIJING, June 18 (Xinhua) — Chinese Internet users splurged on the mid-year online shopping spree on Sunday.

While November 11, or Single’s Day, is the largest online shopping festival in China created by Alibaba’s Tmall, June 18 (“6/18”) shopping festival was launched by JD.com, Tmall’s arch rival.

Other companies soon jumped on the bandwagon and began to offer special offers to get more customers.

On June 18, JD.com reported its first hour sales more than doubled from the same period last year. Tmall pocketed over 100 million yuan (14.71 million U.S. dollars) seven minutes after its opening. Another Chinese e-commerce heavyweight Suning.com saw its orders more than quadrupled from a year ago.

According to iResearch, a Beijing-based consultancy, while demand is high, Chinese consumers tend to be rational by caring more about quality instead of price.

The top five items on the shopping list of JD.com consumers are cell phone, air conditioner, flat panel computer, laptop and baby formula. Consumers are more selective in quality.

Kaola.com, a cross-border e-commerce platform, found consumers are becoming more critical in selecting big names, but were less interested in popular best-sellers.

Cao Lei, director of China E-Commerce Research Center, said with consumer upgrade going on in China, e-commerce market has shifted from “price war” to responding to the demands of the affluent and sophisticated middle class.

Putting all those purchases into consumers’ hands is a huge task.

To make fresh food reach consumers in the shortest period of time possible, Tmall’s cold chain service is operating around the clock. Its daily delivery of fresh food totals near 500 tonnes.

By using smart warehouse, it takes only three minutes to move a parcel out of the depot through automated assembly lines.

E-commerce platforms are using drones to make speedy deliveries. At this year’s “6/18” shopping festival, Suning.com is using drones to get packages directly to shoppers in rural villages.

JD.com uses augmented reality and virtual reality to offer interactive shopping experiences and also employs robots, driverless cars and drones for deliveries.

Xu Lei, JD Group’s chief marketing officer, said retail sales will be driven by changing consumer habits and technology upgrades.

The mega-spending spree came as China’s economy is slowing down as the world’s second largest economy is transitioning from dependence on export and investment to consumer spending.

Growth of the property development investment slowed in May for the first time since November, but retail sales grew 10.7 percent year on year in May boosted by strong online sales, signaling continued consumption strength.

China is the world’s largest online shopping market, with about 467 million online consumers spending about 26.1 trillion yuan last year, up 19.8 percent year on year.

 

Source  :  Xinhua