Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that two in every five Hong Kong employers have received resumes that contain lies, and 20% of them cited bogus academic qualifications, a survey shows. But the problem is twice as bad over the border.

SCMP cited Hudson Global Resources as saying that it interviewed over 1,500 employers across Asia – including the mainland, Hong Kong and Singapore – in August. And almost 70% of mainland respondents said they had encountered dishonest job applicants. The proportion was 40%, or barely half, in Hong Kong.

But when it came to falsification of degrees and other qualifications, the gap was even bigger.

Of the employers who spotted false applications, 42% on the mainland said they included bogus academic qualifications, more than twice the 20% in Hong Kong.

In both regions, pay and job responsibilities are the information most likely to be distorted on applicants’ resumes. The industries that see the most falsification are not the same in both places, though.

On the mainland, media, public relations and advertising companies are the most likely to see candidates who exaggerate or falsify information, with 91% of employers from these industries saying they had seen dishonest applicants. But the same industries in Hong Kong are fairly close-knit and dishonest applicants relatively uncommon.

The problem is more prevalent in banking and financial services in Hong Kong, where 46% of employers interviewed said they had come across dishonest candidates.

Brian Renwick, vice-chairman of the Employers’ Federation of Hong Kong, said a “volume issue” – there are more employees on the mainland – could be behind the higher incidence of dishonest applicants.

“Most often it’s exaggeration rather than outright lying,” he said, adding that applicants sometimes lied about having secured a degree of GCSE but they are in the minority, and candidates are more likely to inflate their previous salaries.

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that one of the world’s most famous James Bond cars – the specially equipped silver Aston Martin first driven by Sean Connery in “Goldfinger” – was auctioned off on October 27, 2010 in London for 2.6 million pounds (US$4.1 million.)

The unique car, which boasts an ejector seat, machine guns, rotating license plates and other spy gear, was initially expected to go for more than 3.5 million pounds ($5.5 million).

Jerry Lee of Philadelphia, and current owner of the ‘James Bond’ 1964 Aston Martin DB5, stands by the car, in London, Tuesday, Oct., 26, 2010.

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that China has produced 49 more billionaires in the past year, bringing the total to 128, up from 79 last year, Forbes Asia.

People’s Daily reported that of the 128 tycoons with a 10-figure net worth, nine are under the age of 40, 11 are women, and Shenzhen leads with 17 billionaires, followed by Beijing with 15 and Shanghai with 10.

Also noteworthy is that 10 percent of the 400 richest Chinese in Forbes Asia’s latest overall ranking get all or part of their fortunes from China’s healthcare sector.

Topping this year’s list is Zong Qinghou, the chairman of beverage giant Wahaha, with an 8 billion U.S. dollars net worth, compared with 4.8 billion U.S. dollars last year.

Zong knocked off last year’s richest man Wang Chuanfu, who is now worth 4.25 billion U.S. dollars and ranked No. 10 after losing over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Robin Li comes in second with 7.2 billion U.S. dollars after seeing his net worth jump by more than 4 billion U.S. dollars on the rapid growth of the world’s biggest population of internet users. Shares of his company Baidu, soared 143 percent over the past year.

At No. 3 is Liang Wengen, worth 5.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Former journalist and now property tycoon Wu Yajun is China’s richest woman. She is at No. 8 with a net worth 4.7 billion U.S. dollars which she shares with her family. Enditem(Yeo and Gao)

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has picked up this Online Advertising Tip: Make an offer they can’t refuse

Online advertising has the opportunity to be a direct response medium more than a brand building one. Visits to your website are good, but you want a bit more than that. You want real sales leads.

So give people a reason to act by making a special offer: discounts and special deals, for example. Or, even better than that, offer some free content that will help people do their jobs. White papers and eBooks (like the one you’re reading) are perfect for this.

Content sells!
Your prospects don’t want to talk about you. They want to talk about their problems and challenges, so make it clear you understand and that you can help. Paradoxically, if your prospects think you aren’t just out to sell them something, they’ll be more inclined to buy from you. It’s about credibility.

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that Taiwan is eyeing cooperation in logistics services with China to boost customs clearance efficiency and transform the island into a logistics hub in the Asia Pacific region, the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) said recently.

The potential team-up with China has been prioritized in a CEPD logistics development plan that will commit NT$101.11 billion (US$3.19 billion) between 2010 and 2013 to building Taiwan into an Asia Pacific logistics hub, said Tso Heng, the head of the CEPD’s Center for Economic Innovation and Deregulation.

China has privately voiced its willingness to work with Taiwan in logistics services, Tso said, and three ministries — the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications — are expected to initiate formal discussions with China on the subject in future cross-strait talks.

“We want to take advantage of warming cross strait ties after the implementation of the ECFA to strengthen Taiwan’s logistics services, Tso told the Central News Agency, referring to the economic cooperation framework agreement Taiwan signed with China in June.

“For the cooperation with the mainland, Taiwan and China could invest in each other’s airport and harbor facilities in the future, ” he said, but he did not provide any further details of possible tie-ins.

Linking the cross-strait logistic sectors will make Taiwan more attractive as a logistics hub for foreign companies, which often see Taiwan as a springboard to China’s market, Tso explained.

According to the CEPD’s four-year plan, customs clearance, trade promotion, and airport and harbor infrastructure development will be handled by an integrated team rather than as separate responsibilities under different government agencies, as is the case today, Tso said.

“The three ministries will work with each other more closely than ever. We hope efficiency will be really boosted,” he said.

Tso said the government will review the implementation of the logistics service plan in 2013, hoping Taiwan will see an improvement in its ranking in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (LPI).

In 2010, Taiwan ranked 20th on the LPI, trailing Singapore (2nd), Japan (7th) and Hong Kong (13th) but ahead of South Korea (23rd) and China (27th).

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on the importation of unapproved new drugs with regards to personal use.

Import Alert #66-41, “Detention Without Physical Examination of Unapproved New Drugs Promoted In The U.S.” (IA 66-41) was most recently published on September 23, 2010.

IA 66-41 contains a Red List, a list of importers whose products are automatically detained for FDA violations, of over 400 firms on the charge of importing misbranded unapproved new drugs.

Benjamin England, founder of FDAImports.com, LLC and former FDA Compliance Officer, attorney, and Food and Drug Law expert states that “This Import Alert has been expanded to include importers and products of drugs imported strictly for personal use rather than just targeting foreign shippers, which is FDA’s normal M.O.”

Historically, investigating and intercepting (detaining) shipments of imported personal-use drugs has been deemed an unjustified expenditure of agency resources because most personal-use drug imports are small in amount and value.

FDA has stated in chapter 9, subchapter on “Coverage of Personal Importations” of the agency’s Regulatory Procedures Manual, “Because the amount of merchandise imported into the United States in personal shipments is normally small, both in size and value, comprehensive coverage of these imports is normally not justified.”

Benjamin England adds that “FDA’s personal importation guidance, which we affectionately nicknamed the ‘P.I.G.’, was primarily responsible for the explosive growth over the last two decades in foreign online pharmacies. Apparently the pig has grown too fat for even FDA’s liking so the agency is taking another track by going after the US importers now listed on IA 66-41.”

There are only two exceptions to importing unapproved drugs into United State Commerce. As IA 66-41 clearly states, only persons who began treatment with unapproved drugs in a country other than the US and intend to continue treatment upon entering the US may be permitted to import an unapproved drug under the policy.

Additionally, any individual (as opposed to a company) who made their own arrangements for obtaining the unapproved drug from foreign sources may be considered for permission to import.

On the other hand, if there is any evidence that the product has been promoted for use in the U.S. it is likely to be considered for detention. “These promotions may take place in any form,” says England, “such as direct mail solicitation, internet advertisements, press releases, or those incessant spam emails you and I keep getting in our email in-boxes.

“Quite frankly, I blame FDA for all that spam email. But for the fattening of the P.I.G. over the decades, a multi-billion dollar industry would have not blossomed as it has,” England says.

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that the value of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods rose by 24.1% and 19.5% in September respectively, over the same month last year.

According to figures released by the Census & Statistics Department today, in September the value of total exports of goods rose 24.1% over a year earlier to $280.2 billion. Within this total the value of re-exports grew 24.2% to $274.2 billion while the value of domestic exports rose 17.1% to $6 billion.

Concurrently, the value of imports of goods rose 19.5% over a year earlier to $304.7 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 28.4% in August. A visible trade deficit of $24.4 billion, equivalent to 8% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in September.

For this year’s first nine months, the value of total exports of goods rose 26.1% over the same period last year.

Within this total, the value of re-exports went up 26.2% while the value of domestic exports increased 21.8%. A visible trade deficit of $245 billion, equivalent to 9.9% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the year’s first nine months.

Compared to the same month last year, total exports to Asia in September grew 24.1%. Increases were registered in the value of total exports to most major destinations, particularly India (+72.7%), Vietnam (+35.0%) and Malaysia (+31.1%).

The department said the Asian market continued to expand vibrantly, driven by strong industrial production activities and investment demand. The strong domestic demand in Asia and the resurgence in intra-regional trade flows should continue to be supportive to Hong Kong’s merchandise exports. However, there are still considerable “headwinds” in the external environment, it said, with the still fragile recovery in the advanced economies, rising protectionist sentiments and heightened volatility in exchange rate markets.

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that the yuan or renminbi fell to a three-week low against the greenback on Oct 27, 2010, a drop that will help the country’s exporters if it continues.

The China Daily reported that the central bank set the yuan’s reference central parity rate at 6.6912 against the US dollar, the lowest level since Sept 30 after the Chinese currency hit a record high of 6.6497 per dollar on Oct 15.

The move came ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who on Wednesday started a two-week trip to a number of Asia-Pacific countries including Vietnam, China, South Korea and Australia.

Clinton will meet Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo on Hainan island during the weekend. Key issues for the Sino-US relationship, such as the planned visit by President Hu Jintao to the United States early next year and the yuan’s exchange rate, are expected to stay high on their agenda.

China scrapped the dollar peg in mid-June and accelerated the pace of yuan appreciation since September, amid rising foreign pressure for a stronger Chinese currency. The yuan strengthened 2.3 percent between Sept 1 and Oct 22, causing a higher inflow of speculative capital betting on further yuan appreciation and increasing the difficulties faced by exporters, analysts said.

“Wednesday’s weaker performance of the yuan reflected the central bank’s earlier tone of maintaining two-way movements,” said Li Wei, economist at Standard Chartered Bank.

China’s foreign exchange reserves rose $194 billion in the third quarter, far exceeding the total amount of trade surplus and foreign direct investment made during the same period.

The gap provided fresh evidence that more speculative capital is flowing into China, analysts said.

“The weakening of the yuan will give more leeway for China to deal with a possible new wave of external pressure for faster yuan appreciation, which is likely to come right before a slew of political events in the US in November and the Seoul G20 Summit,” Li said.

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