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New Urgent Recall of Milk Products

Urgent notice was sent overnight on October 13 by six state agencies to immediately take milk powder and liquid milk of all brands off the shelves. Supermarkets, department stores, groceries stores, and urban and rural retails booths are ordered to stop selling those made by September 14 and send for inspection. Only those satisfying the new regulation are allowed to return for sale after relabeling. The state agencies include Ministry of Commerce, Administration for Industry and Commerce, and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. This new order is a contrast against last week, when major brands of liquid milk were still under extensive sales promotion.

Source: Xinhua, October 14, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/health/2008-10/14/content_10190442.htm

More African Countries Ban Chinese Milk Products

BBC reports on October 7 that Liberia and Senegal ordered to temporarily ban the import of milk products from China, joining other eight African countries that issued similar orders earlier. Liberia minister of commerce says such ban is a preventive measure. There is no milk product imported from China at the moment in Senegal. Senegal authorities say that the country can not wait to take action until the problem products spread to Senegal.

Source: BBC, October 7, 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/chinese/simp/hi/newsid_7650000/newsid_7657300/7657318.stm

Slow Real Estate Market Reached New Low During October 1 Golden Week

“October 1 Golden Week” appears to be slow for the real estate market compared with last year. The housing closing activities has remained slow since September and were at 50 percent level compared with last year. Some housing compounds in large cities such as Shanghai even had zero transaction month. Take Shenzheng as an example, the slow real estate market has driven 40 percent of the real estate brokerage firms in Shengzheng out of business and almost all the remaining firms are operating at financial lose. Shenzhen held the highest housing price in the nation last August. But a year later in August 2008, the housing price per square meter has dropped from 18,000 yuan to 11,000 and the transaction has been slow since last September.

Source: Jiefang Daily, October 12, 2008
http://www.jfdaily.com/news/xwgn/200810/t20081012_405642.htm

Over 100 Million Agricultural Workers Now in Non-Agricultural Sectors

Economic reforms in the past 30 years have moved over one third of farmers to non-agricultural jobs, said Xinhua on October 9, 2008 citing a recent survey of National Trade Union. There are about over 100 million farmers now working in the non-agricultural sectors. As of June 2008, 65 million of them are trade union members. The total trade union members amount to 209 million.

Source:
Xinhua, October 9, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-10/09/content_10172030.htm
Xinhua, October 8, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-10/08/content_10166647.htm

Home Electric Appliances Industry Facing Critical Challenges

China’s home electric appliances industry is facing critical challenges as it sees large drop in production, sales, and export volume, Xinhua quoted Huo Dufang, President of China Household Electrical Appliances Association. “Some electric appliances such as Refrigerator, Air Conditioning, and Microwave had negative growth in the last two to three months” Huo said.

Due to the negative impact by world’s economy and currency factor, for the month of July, refrigerator production was 4.36 million units, down 14.3 percent from prior year; Freezer was 880,000 units and down 12.8 percent; Microwave down 6.55 percent. Total industry output was 408.3 billion yuan in the first seven months, down 10 points in growth rate compared with last year. Industry’s export volume was also hit hard by appreciation in yuan and weakened US dollars. A number of products including electric fan, electric heater, and microwave had negative growth of 21 percent, 11.9 percent, 2.1 percent in export volume respectively.

Source: Xinhua, October 7, 2008
http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2008-10/07/content_10159790.htm

Hebei’s Water Eases Shortage in Beijing

On September 28, 18.7 million cubic meters of water from two reservoirs in Hebei Province arrived in Beijing after 10 days of travel. This is part of China’s massive South-to-North Water Diversion Project which has been lasting for 5 years. By March 2009, an influx of 0.3 billion cubic meters of water will come from the neighboring province so as to provide a relief for the serious water shortage in the nation’s capital. The 300-cubic-meter per capita water consumption in Beijing is only 1/8 of the country’s average and 1/30 of world average, far below the United Nation’s standard of at least 1000 cubic meter.

Source: Voice of America, September 29, 2008
http://www.voanews.com/chinese/w2008-09-29-voa34.cfm