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A Chinese maker of engraving machines shows a wooden electric car at the China-Eurasia Expo 2012 on Monday in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The car was made by a 38-year-old carpenter from Kashgar in Xinjiang, who spent half a year and 60,000 yuan ($9,450) completing it. The pure electric vehicle might not be as environmentally friendly due to its liberal use of wood, but it is able to travel 150 km on a single charge and has a top speed of 50 km/h. Wei Xin'an / For China Daily
Hydropower plant in Yunnan starts operations
The Nuozhadu Hydropower Plant, set to become the largest hydropower plant in Southwest China's Yunnan province, put its first generator into operation on Thursday.
The first generator of 650 million kilowatts, located in Pu'er city in the lower reaches of the Lancang River, was completed three years ahead of schedule. China Huaneng Group, the investor of the project, said the plant will install nine generators of 650 million kW and will guarantee annual electricity generation of 23.91 billion kilowatt-hours.
The Nuozhadu earth core rockfill dam has a maximum height of 261.5 meters. Once completed, the plant will be the largest rock-fill dam power station in Asia and the third-highest core wall rock-fill dam power station in the world.
The total cost could reach 61 billion yuan ($9.6 billion), Huaneng said.
The plant is also one of the major projects of the Power Transmission from western China to eastern China. And it will supply power to neighboring countries such as Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Distillers' grains imports to grow this year
China's imports of so-called dried distillers' grains will continue to grow on rising animal-feed production, said FoodChina.com, an Internet-based agricultural exchange.
This year's inbound shipments of DDGS, a byproduct of corn-based ethanol, will likely exceed last year's total of 1.69 million tons, Fan Wenmin, general manager at the exchange, said at a conference in Shanghai. The rise in inbound shipments comes after the government withdrew an anti-dumping investigation against imports from the US, the biggest supplier, according to Fan.
China's corn output can't keep up with demand, spurring "rapid growth" of imports, Fan said. Demand for DDGS is "robust" and has the potential to grow to more than 15 million tons a year if it comprises 10 percent of the annual additional feed ingredients, he said.
Toyota: China deliveries may double by 2015
Toyota Motor Corp, whose sales trail those of Nissan Motor Co in China, said deliveries in the country may double by 2015 as the company seeks to catch up in the world's biggest automobile market.
Toyota may increase sales in China to 1.8 million units by 2015, or 15 percent of its worldwide sales, Atsushi Niimi, executive vice-president of the carmaker, said on Thursday at an auto forum in Chengdu, Sichuan province. The company, which is preparing to unveil 20 new models, sold 883,000 vehicles during 2011.
The Toyota-based carmaker plans to sell at least 1 million units in China this year, representing 12 percent of global sales, according to Niimi. Sales rose 13 percent to 596,100 in China during the first eight months of this year, according to the company.
Toyota, which has outsold all automakers globally in the first half, is determined to change the perception the company is lagging behind rivals in China and missing out on the explosive growth in the country in recent years, Niimi said.
The company will promote the sales of hybrids, improve customer service and discuss selling elderly-and handicapped-friendly vehicles to cater to China's aging population, he said.
China's commodity demand expected to recover
China's commodity demand is set to rebound in the final quarter as the world's largest user of energy and metals will see more infrastructure projects and construction, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Demand growth bottomed out in the second quarter, Julian Zhu, China commodities analyst at the New York-based bank, said at a media briefing in Singapore on Thursday. Copper and cement are among the beneficiaries of the trend, while aluminum and steel will stay weak because of overcapacity, he said.
Growth in the second-largest economy dropped to the slowest pace in three years between April and June, hurting the outlook for commodities. Goldman pared its forecast for China's gross domestic product growth this year to 7.6 percent from 7.9 percent, according to a report on Thursday.
"We expect demand to rebound further into the fourth quarter because of the ongoing resumption of infrastructure projects that were delayed or suspended in the second half of 2011," Zhu said.
Fund to benefit French, Chinese enterprises
China Development Bank and French state-owned bank Caisse des Depots said on Thursday that they have created a 150-million euro ($189 million) fund to take minority stakes in French and Chinese small and medium-sized firms.
The fund would invest between 3 million and 15 million euros in each company with sales of 10 million to 200 million euros. The fund would take minority interests in French SMEs that are developing their Chinese market and the other half in Chinese SMEs that are developing in France.
Liquidity injection stopped through reverse repos
The People's Bank of China, the central bank, halted its efforts to inject liquidity into banks through open market operations this week, renewing speculation that the PBOC may move to ease its monetary policy soon.
Through reverse repurchase (repo) agreement operations on Thursday, the PBOC drained 52 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) of liquidity from the money market this week after pumping 344 billion yuan into banks last month.
The liquidity tightening came after the central bank used repos to buy 40 billion yuan in securities from banks with terms of seven and 14 days.
The yield for seven-day reverse repos dipped 5 basis points to 3.35 percent, while that for 14-day reverse repos remained unchanged at 3.5 percent.
The PBOC may introduce a new parity for short-term borrowing, analysts said, as the central bank has carried out reverse repo operations for 11 consecutive weeks since June 26.
Nissan's China sales reduced by tensions with Japan
Nissan Motor Co, the biggest Japanese automaker in China measured by sales, said it has made fewer deliveries in the country as it cut back on marketing events following violent anti-Japan demonstrations that occurred last month.
Heeding the advice of Chinese authorities, Nissan has reduced the number of promotional activities it is holding, Toshiyuki Shiga, Nissan chief operating officer, told reporters at an auto forum in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, on Thursday.
Shiga's comments are among the earliest that a representative of a large Japanese company has made acknowledging that harmful consequences have arisen from the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, which has soured diplomatic ties between Asia's two biggest economies.
Hacker discloses Sony Mobile customer data
Sony Corp is investigating a hacker attack that exposed data from about 400 customers of the company's mobile-phone business in the mainland and Taiwan.
About 400 user names, matched with e-mail addresses, were disclosed online by a hacker group, George Boyd, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Sony, said on Thursday, declining to elaborate further. The Japanese electronics maker believes the data were obtained from a third-party service provider, Boyd said. No credit-card or bank-account data were exposed, he said.
The attack comes more than a year after Sony's PlayStation Network service, which enables multiple people to play a computer game together online, suffered a bigger data breach at a data center in San Diego.
That incident affected more than 100 million customer accounts and prompted Sony to suspend online entertainment services for more than two months.
Brazil increases import tariffs, affecting China
Brazil has decided to increase the import tariffs it imposes on hundreds of products, the Foreign Trade Commission of Brazil said on Wednesday.
The change is meant to encourage Brazilian companies to make similar products amid the current global economic troubles.
According to the new measures, which will be in place for a year, the import taxes Brazil imposes on bicycles and car tires will increase from 16 percent to 25 percent, on mineral oil from 4 percent to 25 percent, on aluminum plating from 14 percent to 20 percent, and on potatoes from 14 percent to 25 percent.
Also on the list are building materials, such as glass and tiles, some machinery equipment and pharmaceutical raw materials.
(China Daily 09/07/2012 page14)