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Visitors take photos of a high-quality red date, which is as big as an egg, at the 5th Red Dates Festival in Zepu county, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Wednesday. The auction price of this kind of red dates is around 260,000 yuan ($41,600) per kilogram. Liu Xin / China News Service
Sany Group will 'fight to the end' in US lawsuit
China's largest machinery maker Sany Group said on Thursday that it will "fight to the very end" in its lawsuit against US President Barack Obama, after the president blocked a wind farm project citing national security concerns.
"This is the perfect illustration of our confidence in the US legal system, as well as our firm belief that there is no such threat posed to US national security of any kind, and there will never be," said Wu Jialiang, deputy general manager of Sany Group and CEO of Ralls Corp.
"If in the end Sany wins this lawsuit, it would be a true triumph of the US legal system, for it will be viewed as the best demonstration for the world to know that the United States is indeed a country where legitimate investments will be protected by the constitution regardless of where they come from," he said.
Ralls Corp, an associated company of the Sany Group established in August 2010, has invested in a series of wind power projects in the US in recent years.
Obama ordered Ralls to divest its interests in a wind turbine project in Oregon, the first time since 1990 that a US president has formally blocked a business transaction on security grounds.
Lexus China denies it stopped car imports
Lexus China denied that it has stopped importing cars, and said that some popular models, such as the ES300h, are still being imported, Shanghai Securities News reported on Thursday.
"Strictly speaking, we just suspended imports of some models with large inventories," the newspaper quoted an anonymous company executive from Lexus China as saying.
Lexus China, which is owned by Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co Ltd, said that it adjusts its supply every month, and that the volume of its imports in October was decided by its sales in September.
"That is a way to guarantee the interests of dealers. If we import a large amount of cars continuously, regardless of the dealers' inventory, they will come under increasing pressure, which is bad for Lexus' development in China," the company source said.
A sharp sales decrease in September disrupted Lexus' full-year plans, and imports of some models had to be suspended, the source said.
Lexus had planned to sell 88,000 cars in China this year, and sold 35,000 cars in the first half of the year, up 70 percent year-on-year.
Projects to boost photovoltaic industry
China's photovoltaic industry, which is suffering from protectionist measures in overseas markets and domestic overcapacity, is expected to reach a turning point soon, Beijing Business Daily reported on Thursday.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning agency, has approved 60 photovoltaic projects this year, including seven overseas projects, with installed capacity of around 1.17 million kilowatts. The projects are mainly in western China, including Qinghai and Gansu provinces, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
However last year, there were only 36 approved projects, with installed capacity of 0.34 million kW.
The government is hoping to stimulate the domestic photovoltaic market through the projects, amid the sluggish global economy and trade protectionism in Europe and the United States, said Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University.
Although the approval of photovoltaic projects was accelerated this year, it is still far from reaching the target of 21 million kW of installed capacity by the end of 2015, which was set in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).
By the end of 2011, China's total photovoltaic installed capacity was only 3.6 million kW. In order to reach its target in the next three years, China's installed photovoltaic capacity must increase by around six times.
BOC establishes partnership with NYSE Euronext
Bank of China, the country's third-largest lender, said on Thursday that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NYSE Euronext to jointly develop yuan-denominated products.
"The signing of the MOU marks a new starting point for the overall cooperation between Bank of China and NYSE Euronext," Yue Yi, executive vice-president of BOC, said in a statement posted on the lender's website.
BOC will endeavor to provide quality and efficient financial services for global clients by deepening cooperation with NYSE Euronext, the statement cited Yue as saying.
Dominique Cerutti, president and deputy chief executive officer at NYSE Euronext, said its partnership with BOC will help its clients and investors explore the Asian market.
Media Markt offers online shopping services
Media Markt, the German chain of stores selling consumer electronics with numerous branches throughout Europe and Asia, is now offering online shopping services in addition to its seven physical stores in Shanghai, although it stresses it will continue to focus on the physical stores.
To cater to the increasing demand for online shopping, the retailer launched its online shopping business in Shanghai on Oct 12. Consumers can browse its website and purchase from all categories of products available in any Media Markt store in Shanghai.
According to Frank Bussalb, CEO of Media Markt China, these services include product reservation, pick up, home delivery, extended warranty and online photo printing.
"We are now completing our business model by combining the customer experience in our stores with our online functionalities. We implemented our multi-channel strategy to supplement our existing stationary stores already set up in Shanghai and find more ways to serve local customers," he said.
According to Bussalb, the retailer is initially offering about 40 percent of its products to online shoppers.
New Zealand deal bolsters Haier's technological edge
The Chinese appliance maker Haier Group said on Thursday it will take a majority stake in the New Zealand-based Fisher and Paykel Appliances Ltd.
Haier, which already owns 20 percent of the New Zealand laundry and kitchen appliance maker, raised its offer by 6.7 percent to NZ$1.28 ($1) a share, a price which values the company at about NZ$927 million.
The decision was intended to bolster Haier's technological strength and reduce its reliance on the Chinese market, although it was not immediately clear how large of a stake the company will acquire. Haier is the parent of Haier Electronics Group Co Ltd and Qingdao Haier Co Ltd.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances recommended that its shareholders accept the new offer even though the price came toward the bottom end of an independent valuation that put the company as being worth between NZ$1.28 to NZ$1.57 per share.
Shipping firms open first container route to Russia
Chinese shipping companies have opened their first China-Russia container route, shipping more than 100 containers filled with consumer goods, computer components and ironware products from East China's Ningbo port to Russia's Vostochny port.
Container ships use the route weekly, departing Ningbo port every Thursday. After arriving at the Vostochny port, cargoes will be unloaded and transferred via railway to East Europe.
Bilateral trade between China and Russia has increased steadily in recent months. During the first three quarters of the year, trade volume between the two countries surged by 14.2 percent from a year earlier to $66.2 billion, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.
Beijing Hyundai targets 1 trillion yuan revenue
Beijing Hyundai Motor Company Corporation is expected to produce more than 10 million automobiles, and achieve accumulated revenue of 1 trillion yuan ($159 billion) by 2017, according to Xu Heyi, chairman of the company.
By the end of this year, the auto maker will have achieved an accumulated sales revenue of 393 billion yuan and produced more than four million automobiles, Xu said at the 2012 China Automobile Industry Development Forum organized by the Economic Daily on Thursday in Beijing.
This year marked the tenth anniversary of Beijing Hyundai, a joint venture between China's homegrown automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co Ltd and its South Korean partner Hyundai Motor.
Bai Xiaoqing, general manager of Beijing Hyundai, said the company will expand its sales scope and numbers by increasing its sales network to 1,000 in three years.
Government urged to seek 26% cut in potash prices
Wei Chengguang, president of the China Potassium Salts Industrial Association, has urged the government to have suppliers cut potash import prices by 26 percent, due to waning demand and a build up of stocks.
For the first half of 2013, China should pay less than $350 a metric ton, down from the $470 a ton it negotiated for the first six months of 2012, said Wei in a phone interview from Shanghai on Monday.
Wei's association doesn't participate in the talks. It's funded by 71 Chinese producers and research institutes, according to its website.
"The inventories and domestic production combined would probably be sufficient for domestic consumption next year," Wei said. "Imports may continue if prices are good." Prices above $350 would incur losses for Chinese importers, he said.
(China Daily 10/19/2012 page14)