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China’s Toy Exports Grew In 2007

China’s toy exports totaled US$ 7 billion from January to October of 2007, a 20.1 percent increase from the year before. The official statistics showed that following the large scale of toy recall, toy exports were down 6.2 percent in September. The number then rebounded back to 21 percent, consistent with the growth in the first ten months. The European Union and the US are two of the largest markets and account for 67.6 percent of toy exports. It has been predicted that the increasing cost, operation model and reduced export taxes may affect future toy exports. China remains the world’s largest toy export country.

Source: BBC Chinese.com January 6, 2008 http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7170000/newsid_7173600/7173685.stm

Consumer Price Increase Burdens Low Income Families

On January 3, Social Sciences Academic published the “Blue book of Chinese Society.” It stated that with China’s GDP growing over 10 percent in 2007, mid to low income families are facing increasing financial pressure. The consumer price increase will continue to be a serious factor in 2008. The Blue Book disclosed that 10 percent of the low income group spent close to 50 percent of their income on food consumption, in addition to the rising cost of living and medical expenses. This group is thus the least capable of surviving. The report also warned that the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor continues to be a threat to social stability.

Source: Radio Free Asia, January 4, 2008
http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/shenrubaodao/2008/01/04/income/

Emergency Fund Issued To Aid College Student Cafeterias

On December 29, the Ministry of Finance approved a 50 million yuan (US$6.8 million) emergency fund to provide temporary aid to college student cafeterias. It is to ensure that, prior to the upcoming winter break, students’ lives will not be affected by the increased price of raw materials. Earlier this year, the General Office of the State Council issued a notice to various levels of governments to provide financial relief to student cafeterias and those students who are on financial aid. In addition, the National Development And Reform Mission also requested the students’ receive discounts in college utility expenses.

Source: China News, December 30, 2007
http://edu.chinanews.cn/edu/kong/news/2007/12-30/1119587.shtml

China’s Economy is Not as Robust as We Think

On December 20, 2007, the International Herald Leader under Xinhua published an article calling on western countries to reconsidertheir their strategy in pushing for an adjustment in the RMB exchange rate. The reason: a World Bank study found the Chinese economy is overestimated by about 40 percent.

Chinese Have Mixed Feelings about Foreign Companies

A survey sampling 1,000 citizens in major cities in China was published in the August issue of Global Enrepeneur Magazine. It reveals that the Chinese public has mixed feelings about foreign companies doing business in China.   

On the one hand, the results showed that over 80 percent of those surveyed think that the foreign companies have promoted economic development in China. On the other hand, 73.1 percent expressed strong dissatisfaction towards the foreign companies as they have "relocated environmentally hazardous industries and factories to China."

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