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Weight Watchers China Weight Watchers China(0)

Increasing affluence and a lack of nutritional education make the country ripe for expansion of the New York-based company?s weight-loss programs, according to Chief Executive Officer David Kirchhoff, 43. The company opened its first Chinese outlet in Shanghai in 2008 and now has five centers there.

The company has had to negotiate cultural differences in its effort to gain brand recognition and respect among Chinese consumers, Kirchhoff said. Weight Watchers assigns points to foods based on calories, fat and fiber, and a client gets a certain amount of points per day.

The Chinese version of the program incorporates images to show how big servings should be, Kirchhoff said. Researchers spent time in restaurant kitchens throughout China to compile a list of standard ingredients in many traditional dishes to give approximate point values, he said.

The China business is a joint venture with Paris-based Groupe Danone SA, 51 percent-owned by the weight-loss company.

Weight Watchers hasn?t released revenue or profit from its China operations. North America accounted for about 65 percent of the company?s sales of $1.4 billion in 2009. The U.K. and Europe made up about 31 percent.

“We?re in the process of identifying the right business model that will allow us to profit in China,? said Kirchhoff. ?Without knowing exactly what that is, it would be an arbitrary exercise to forecast profit at this time.?

Source : Konaxis

Private Role in Industry Private Role in Industry(0)

The Cabinet announcement Monday appeared to apply only to Chinese investors, not foreign companies, and gave no details of their possible role in politically sensitive areas such as energy. It also promised to help private companies invest more abroad.

Private companies generate the bulk of China’s new jobs and wealth and analysts warned that concentrating so much money on less dynamic state-owned companies might lead to economic problems later.

Analysts said the impact of Monday’s announcement will not be clear until ministries say how each industry will be affected.

Monday’s announcement included a five-page list of areas where the government promised to increase access for private investment. They ranged from building airports, hospitals, schools and water systems to setting up financial institutions.

In energy, private companies will be encouraged to partner with state oil and gas companies to “co-exploit” reserves, the statement said.

Beijing also will support a role for private investors in major science and technology projects, another sensitive area, the statement said.

Private companies will be encouraged to invest abroad and regulators will treat every investment entity equally, the statement said. Chinese foreign direct investment has surged in recent years, but much of that is spending by state companies on oil and other resource assets while investment by private entities is low and growing slowly.

Source : Konaxis

China’s South Locomotive Malaysia Deal China’s South Locomotive Malaysia Deal(0)

South Locomotive, listed on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, said the contract value equalled about 8.6 percent of its total sales for 2009.

Source : Konaxis

Foxconn China Pay Increase Foxconn China Pay Increase(0)

The extent of price hikes will differ according to products, C.L. Huang, vice president of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., parent firm of Foxconn, said at a news conference Wednesday night. She did not name the clients.

The Taiwanese firm announced in June two raises, more than doubling the basic worker pay to 2,000 yuan ($293) a month for Chinese workers who make iPhones, iPads and other brand-name electronics for corporations including Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

The raises followed 10 worker suicides at the Foxconn compound in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Labor activists have linked the suicides to unduly harsh conditions at the plant, where more than 300,000 people are employed.

Foxconn has become the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics goods mainly because of its ability to cut down costs by mass producing.

It’s unclear whether an increase to Foxconn’s charges would result in higher prices for electronics goods like computer laptops or gadgets like the iPad. But fierce competition among electronics companies is likely to keep retail prices down while in the case of Apple, it is selling so many iPads and iPhones it can probably absorb higher costs from manufacturing without raising prices.

Huang said Foxconn will also cover the wage increases ? to become fully effective in October ? by speeding up factory automation programs.

She also said Foxconn’s Shenzhen compound will produce higher value-added goods while shifting low-margin production to inland factories where wages are lower.

Source : Konaxis

Impreza XV Vehicle Impreza XV Vehicle(0)

Fuji already sells four models in China; its sales rose 95.9 percent to 35,348 units in 2009, Nikkei said.

Source : Konaxis

Hyundai Heavy Wheel-Loader Factory Hyundai Heavy Wheel-Loader Factory(0)

The plant, to be completed by April 2011, will have an annual production capacity of 8,000 units, the Ulsan, South Korea-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. Hyundai Heavy aims to sell more than 10,000 wheel loaders annually in China within five years, the company said.

The Korean company will also seek to expand into Brazil, Middle East and Africa, it said, without providing details.

Source : Konaxis

China’s Economic Growth Slows China’s Economic Growth Slows(0)

A statistics bureau spokesman, Sheng Laiyun, said despite the decline, growth is “very high” and within the government’s target range. The official growth target for the year is 8 percent, which analysts say China easily should achieve.

Sheng said lower growth would help Beijing’s effort to boost domestic consumption and reduce reliance on resource-intensive investment and exports to drive growth.

June growth in factory output slowed to 13.7 percent, down from May’s 16.5 percent rise. Growth in retail sales and investment in factories and other fixed assets also eased.

June exports rose 35 percent over a year earlier but analysts expect Europe’s debt crisis to crimp trade. A survey earlier by a Chinese business group found manufacturing activity in June fell for a third month as foreign orders declined.

June inflation eased to 2.9 percent over a year earlier, falling back below the government target of 3 percent for the year after prices rose 3.1 percent in May.

Also Thursday, the government said foreign direct investment in China rose 39.6 percent in June over a year ago to $12.5 billion.

Thursday’s data also showed investment still is growing faster than retail spending despite efforts to promote domestic consumption. Retail sales rose 18.2 percent in the first half but spending on factories and other fixed assets jumped 25 percent.

Source : Konaxis

Huadian Energy Heilongjiang Huadian Energy Heilongjiang(0)

Huadian expects a 148 million yuan loss in the first half on a surge in coal prices, the Chinese electric company said in a separate statement.

Source : Konaxis

Shanghai pass Singapore Port Shanghai pass Singapore Port(0)

Shanghai handled more containers between April and June, the report said, citing data compiled by port authorities. In the first six months of this year, Singapore moved 14.05 million 20-foot standard containers and Shanghai 13.85 million, it said.

Source : Konaxis

Property Prices Slow in June Property Prices Slow in June(0)

Housing prices in 70 major cities rose 11.4 percent year-on-year in June, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website, down from the 12.4 percent rise seen in the previous month.

The figure hit 12.8 percent in April, the biggest on-year rise for a single month since July 2005, when the survey was widened to 70 cities from 35.

The prices in June fell by 0.1 percent from May, official data showed, the first month-on-month decline since March last year, according to experts.

Chinese media reports have said a property tax could be imposed on a trial basis in Beijing, Shanghai, the southwestern mega-city of Chongqing and the southern city of Shenzhen.

Qin Hong, a senior researcher at the housing ministry, said China would impose the tax “at an appropriate time” as a “long-term measure” to regulate the sector, the official Securities Times reported Monday.

China currently has no such levy on residential property but does impose a 1.2 percent tax on 70-90 percent of the value of commercial real estate.

Source : Konaxis

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