VEEV earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2020.
Chinese officials who let a convicted murderer walk free just months into a 15-year sentence have been exposed in a web of corruption dating back decades. In a statement released on Wednesday, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region judicial authority in China said a years-long investigation had found 84 officials were involved in the scandal that saw the killer serve just three months of his sentence almost three decades ago in 1992. Of those 84 – which included eight top-level officials – the region’s Political and Justice Committee said 54 received harsh disciplinary measures while 20 were given lighter sentences and 10 were under police investigation. Another 10 officials had died before the authority concluded the investigation.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. During the investigation, authorities found that the prisoner, Batu Menghe, then 18, had been released from prison on parole to seek medical treatment in September 1993. He had served three months of his 15-year sentence for the stabbing murder of Bai Yongchun in the Mongolian village of Chenbaerhu Banner, where they both lived. Batu had turned himself in to authorities after the killing. The sentence saw him also stripped him of his political rights for two years which prevented him from holding public office at that time. The investigation found that after Batu’s temporary release from prison to seek medical treatment, he never returned, instead moving to Bayankuren Town for 14 years, according to the statement. Batu’s mother Tong Laga, a health official at the time, and his uncle, Chao Lumen, an education official, were instrumental in the cover-up, asking two senior local hospital officials to issue a certificate with a fake diagnosis, authorities said. With further help from three prison officials, two judicial authorities and the Vice Party Secretary of Chenbaerhu Banner, a fraudulent medical certificate was issued by the authority’s Public Security Bureau director, Chu Gulan. China shocked after 13-year-old allegedly murders 6-year-old In 2007, his official release date, Batu was issued with a certificate of release from the prison director, showing his full sentence had been served. The document made no mention of the ban on his political rights for two years. After his official release, Batu became a Party member in 2010 after the Party secretary Tao Dao instructed two lower-ranking party members to put in an application to join the party on his behalf. The application left out his conviction, clearing the path for his inauguration into the party. With the help of Tao, Batu was elected as a deputy of the People’s Congress in the small region of Xiwuzhuersumu. In 2012, Batu was then elected as a People’s Congress delegate in the more powerful Chenbaerhu Banner region and was illegally elected as a village chief in 2009, 2012 and 2015, the statement said. Authorities decided to investigate after repeated whistle-blowing by the dead boy’s mother, Han Jie, 74, who never gave up seeking justice for her son. In 2017, Batu was arrested and returned to jail after authorities found he had embezzled 290,000 yuan (US$44, 267) while serving as village chief. In 2018, a court in Chenbaerhu Banner sentenced Batu to jail for three years and fined him 200,000 yuan (US$30, 529) for embezzlement. However, the court ruled that due to his illegal escape from jail 15 years previously, he would finally serve his sentence in full. “I have been reporting to the authorities over the past three decades. The punishment decision has finally come,” Han told news portal Red Start News. “My son was killed by Batu Menghe when he was younger than 20. Who could imagine that this murderer could be a village chief and a People’s Congress deputy?” she said.More from South China Morning Post:China takes aim at corrupt cadres and officials in expanded Inner Mongolia campaignChinese man given 12 years in prison for raping 10-year-old girlPolice chief lashes out at ‘attempts to use Xinjiang to contain China’Baidu defeats US shareholder lawsuit over China internet law complianceOnce China’s richest man, Gome founder Huang Guangyu hopes e-commerce can revive floundering electronics empireThis article China shocked by mass cover up that saw convicted murderer, freed after three months, go on to become a high ranking official first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
There are unsettling questions about S'pore's leadership succession, says assistant news editor Nicholas Yong.
With a strategic alliance, 24-hour production and a bit of luck, Pfizer and BioNTech were able to roll out their Covid vaccine at a brisk pace and relatively free of controversy.
After viewing a video of a female colleague partially naked, a man spiked her drink with a muscle relaxant in an attempt to molest her if she were to become dizzy.
Chinese regulators hit e-commerce giant Alibaba with a record 18.2 billion yuan ($2.78 billion) fine on Saturday over practices deemed to be an abuse of the company's dominant market position.
After more than 10 years in jail for insider trading and bribery, Huang Guangyu, founder of Chinese electronics retail chain Gome Retail Holdings and formerly the country’s richest man, announced ambitious expansion plans in a bid to regain lost ground in a market that has drastically changed since his incarceration. In his first public appearance since rejoining the company, Huang expressed confidence during a Gome global investor call on Wednesday night about During Gome’s global investor call on Wednesday night, in his first public appearance since rejoining the company, Huang expressed confidence in his company’s ability to take on the country’s e-commerce giants Pinduoduo, JD.com, and Alibaba Group Holding, the owner of the South China Morning Post.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “We’re open in both mindset and strategy. No one can kill the other. As long as the business direction and strategy are right, constraints from others will be temporary,” Huang said. “We see [Pinduoduo and JD.com] as mature sales platforms; we can go to them to sell and attract traffic, and they can also cooperate with us.” The electronics giant revealed plans to expand its offline stores to more than 6,000 locations from its current 3,400 over the next 18 months. The company is also looking to use entertainment and social networking to bolster its app, Zhenkuaile, and increase the number of monthly active users from 40 million to 100 million in the same period. Huang said he wants Gome’s consumers to participate in and share in-app entertainment and to think of the shopping experience as having fun. “It will become the reason for consumers to store [our] app on their mobile phones,” Huang said. To achieve its ambitious plans, Gome faces a steep climb. Its retail revenue for 2020 fell by 26 per cent and losses ballooned 142 per cent to 7.2 billion yuan over 2019, making it the retailer’s fourth consecutive year of losses, according to Gome’s annual results published on March 31. Before his arrest in 2008, Huang was one of China’s most influential entrepreneurs. While his wife, Du Juan, held the reins of his bricks-and-mortar electronics empire until his early release on good behaviour last year, China’s retail market underwent dramatic changes as online shopping disrupted the traditional offline model. E-commerce now makes up nearly half of all retail sales in China, and it’s a popular means of buying even large home appliances. Pinduoduo invests US$200 million in electronics retailer Gome “Twelve years ago, Huang was the one who knew Chinese business best,” said Ding Daoshi, director of Beijing-based internet consultancy Sootoo. “Now, more than 10 years later, facing the intricacies of competition in the retail industry today, does he have the large resources and financial capabilities to get Gome back to the same position in just 18 months?” China’s electric appliances market is now dominated by Suning.com, which made up 23.3 per cent of the market in the third quarter of 2020, according to a report from the state-owned China Household Electric Appliances Research Institute. Suning, which also started as an offline retailer, was followed by JD.com with 15.4 per cent and Tmall with 9.7 per cent. Gome was down to 5.6 per cent. Things are worse for Gome in the online market for consumer electronics, where it has just 1.5 per cent share and is again eclipsed by Suning, JD.com and Tmall. “I think Gome has almost no possibility of a comeback in the current e-commerce or new retail environment,” said Cao Lei, director of the Hangzhou-based China E-Commerce Research Centre. “Because whether from his strategic planning or business layout, it is still a traditional retail enterprise.” “Considering that even Suning is suffering from competition with online retail giants like Taobao and JD.com, the market left for Gome will be even smaller,” Cao added. One bright spot for Gome is partnerships it struck last year with JD.com and Pinduoduo, which Sootoo’s Ding said could give the company a chance at a comeback. In April of last year, Pinduoduo announced that it was investing US$200 million in Gome to help with the company’s digitalisation. The following month, Gome announced “strategic cooperation” with JD.com, which bought US$100 million worth of convertible bonds from the electronics retailer. “Gome has the absolute advantage of its offline stores across the country and logistics from first- to lower-tier cities,” Ding said. “The relationship between Gome and JD.com and Pinduoduo is not competition, but more like cooperation by complementing each other’s resources. Their future rivals will be other online retailers, led by Alibaba.”More from South China Morning Post:China’s former richest man, Huang Guangyu, vows comeback by next year after release from prisonChinese electronics chain Gome Retail seeks US$574 million from sale of new shares as disgraced founder Huang Guangyu vows to restore its former gloryH&M under fire in China over refusal to buy Xinjiang cottonHuang Guangyu, founder and ex-chairman of one of China’s largest bricks-and-mortar electronics retailers, is released from jailChina eyes domestic yuan futures market to help boost currency internationalisationThis article Once China’s richest man, Gome founder Huang Guangyu hopes e-commerce can revive floundering electronics empire first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Feast on as many sushi rolls, sashimi and yakiniku as you want at these spots for the best all-you-can-eat Japanese buffets in Singapore. No one can deny that Singaporeans love good dining deals, whether it’s afternoon high tea, dim sum buffets or all-you-can-eat meals. Of […] The post Best Japanese Buffets in Singapore: Cost and Promotions appeared first on SingSaver Blog - We Compare, You Save.
Donald Trump's top diplomat Mike Pompeo has been hired to appear on Fox News as a "contributor," the conservative cable news channel said Thursday.
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an ancient city in the desert outside Luxor that they say is the "largest" ever found in Egypt and dates back to a golden age of the pharaohs 3,000 years ago.
The State Department said Friday it will make it easier for US officials to meet Taiwanese representatives, defying pressure from China at a time of high tensions.
The release of a new state media video of China’s Shandong aircraft carrier suggests the giant vessel might soon be heading out on the high seas as it continues its preparations to become combat-ready, according to a military insider. “The Shandong will probably start its drills and training on the high seas later this year, which is a necessary step for it to achieve initial operational capability [IOC],” a source close to the navy said. State broadcaster China Central Television released the footage on Tuesday, showing how the carrier had been continuing with its preparations despite the world being gripped by the coronavirus pandemic.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. “After being handed over to the navy [from the shipbuilder], it takes at least 18 months for an aircraft carrier to achieve IOC as there are thousands of items to test and approve,” said Zhou Chenming, a researcher at the Yuan Wang military think tank in Beijing. According to the CCTV video, the Shandong, which is China’s first domestically developed aircraft carrier, features 12,000 different equipment systems. It is on course to become the navy’s second carrier with IOC status, after the Liaoning. A third Chinese aircraft carrier – featuring the world’s most advanced electromagnetic catapults for launching jets – is expected to launch later this year. While the Shandong has already conducted nine sea trials, they were all in Bohai Bay or the South China Sea, which was relatively close to its home base in Sanya, Hainan province, according to Lu Li-Shih, a former instructor at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung. He agreed that the CCTV video suggested the vessel was now ready to take to the high seas. “The Shandong will sail through the first island chain – as its sister ship the Liaoning did before it – to the western Pacific, for its first high-sea exercises,” he said. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, much of the CCTV footage was shot by members of the Shandong’s crew. It took television viewers inside the 20-storey accommodation and operations block that towers above the deck of the ship and gave them a brief insight into the day-to-day lives of the 5,000 sailors who call the vessel home. The video also provided information about the Shandong’s ski-jump for launching jets and its powerful cannons capable of firing 10,000 rounds a minute. A CCTV reporter said the angle of the ski-jump was 14 degrees, and not 12 degrees as many experts had guessed. “China Shipbuilding Industry Corp [which built the Shandong] has never announced the angle, but the blueprint for the Liaoning shows that the angle on its ramp is [also] 14 degrees,” Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said. “But based on the thrust of the J-15 fighter jet, many experts believed the ramp angle on the Shandong would have to be reduced a little,” he said. Hong Kong-based military commentator Liang Guoliang said the ski-jump angle on the Liaoning – a Soviet-designed Kuznetsov-class carrier China bought from Ukraine in 1998 – was designed to accommodate Russian Su-33 Flanker fighters. “Four options for the ski-jump ramp angle – eight, 12, 14 and 16 degrees – were tested,” Liang said. “More powerful aircraft need a lower angle, and it’s a fact that China’s J-15 is more powerful than the Su-33.” In November, PLA pilot Peng Gaofei was killed in a crash during a flight exercise from the Shandong. He was the second J-15 fighter jet pilot to die since 2016, when Zhang Chao was killed due to a problem with the flight control system in his aircraft.More from South China Morning Post:China’s Shandong aircraft carrier crosses Taiwan Strait a day after USS MustinChina’s first home-grown aircraft carrier the Shandong begins sea trialsChina’s Shandong aircraft carrier completes sea trial but no word on basic combat readinessChinese Type 055 destroyer joins aircraft carrier group for first timeThis article China’s Shandong aircraft carrier ready for high seas test, insider says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Chile has provided a real-time demonstration of the effectiveness of Chinese firm Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine, with its vaccination drive results showing it to be 56.5 per cent effective two weeks after the second dose. The findings were in line with Phase 3 trial results of the vaccine in Brazil, which found an efficacy rate of around 50 per cent. But the study by the University of Chile also found that one dose of the Sinovac jab was only 3 per cent effective against infection, underscoring the need to get fully vaccinated. Efficacy rises to 27.7 per cent within two weeks after the second jab, reaching 56.5 per cent a fortnight later, according to the university. Chile has vaccinated 7.2 million people to date, with 4.3 million having received their second dose. More than 93 per cent of those who have had both jabs received the Sinovac vaccine. The South American country has also approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines and, on Wednesday, Chinese company CanSino’s single-dose vaccine was added to the emergency list.Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. On Thursday, Chile reported 8,195 new Covid-19 cases – its highest daily count since the outbreak, and the third time more than 8,000 new cases were recorded in a single day. In the same 24-hour period, 183 deaths were recorded, bringing the country’s fatalities from the disease to 23,979. How China took an unlikely lead in the global supply of Covid-19 vaccines Deputy health minister Paul Daza described the situation in Chile as “very complex”, with more than 80 per cent of the population in quarantine and its borders closed. There has also been a radical change in the age groups being most affected by the disease, with patients aged under 39 years now outnumbering the over-70s. The researchers estimated the Sinovac vaccine’s efficacy in real-life settings at around 54 per cent, after taking into account the 6 per cent of fully-vaccinated Chileans who received the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. According to the World Health Organization, the minimal efficacy threshold is 50 per cent. “Getting vaccinated very significantly decreases the possibility of infection. It does not eliminate it, but it decreases it a lot, therefore you have to get vaccinated,” University of Chile rector Ennio Vivaldi said. The study also made clear that a first dose “does not have any relevant effect after four weeks,” meaning that people who only got one jab were just as vulnerable to infection as the non-vaccinated group. Professor Jin Dong-yan, a molecular virologist at the University of Hong Kong, said the Chilean findings were within expectations and highlighted the importance of getting fully vaccinated, in line with the vaccine makers’ recommendations. But, Jin said, Sinovac’s low efficacy rate did put it in a less favourable position when compared to other vaccines. He pointed to Hong Kong as an example, where the BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines are available. “Even if one is fully vaccinated with Sinovac, the protection is much weaker than one dose of BioNTech. It might be better if our government can purchase more BioNTech and Novavax vaccines,” Jin said. “The right thing to do with Sinovac is to donate them to resource-limited countries before they expire and are wasted. I don’t think Hongkongers can use up what is already bought or arrived.”More from South China Morning Post:Hong Kong coronavirus: herd immunity could take more than a year to reach, experts warn, after vaccinations drop 35 per centWith Malaysia, UAE soon to make Chinese vaccines, does Beijing have an edge in vaccine diplomacy?Covid-19 vaccines made by China’s Sinopharm, CanSino release efficacy dataChina-made Sinovac jab a shot in the arm for Malaysia’s coronavirus vaccination programme, minister saysWhy Israel’s Covid-19 vaccination programme provides first link in vital data chainThis article Chile Covid-19 vaccination drive adds to Sinovac efficacy data first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Myanmar's own ambassador to the United Nations pressed Friday for a no-fly zone and sanctions as international pressure grew on the military junta to end a deadly crackdown and restore democracy.
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While Beijing is unlikely to have a major problem with Washington’s call for the world’s leading economies to agree on a global minimum corporate tax rate, China is nevertheless likely to take a cautious approach in international negotiations given the continued high level of tensions between the two top economies, according to Chinese analysts and academics. A bigger concern for China would be the impact a global minimum corporate tax could have on Hong Kong – the seventh-largest tax haven in the world and the largest in Asia, according to an analysis published earlier this year by the Tax Justice Network, a tax advocacy organisation, ahead of Singapore at number nine. The minimum corporate tax concept has potential risks for Hong Kong, through which some 70 per cent of foreign investment from the Chinese mainland is now channelled. One of the key advantages for a business to establish itself in Hong Kong and source its mainland-generated revenue is its low tax burden, so forcing Hong Kong to raise its corporate taxes could reduce its appeal as a business location. Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team. China’s strained relationship with the United States could also come into play in international negotiations on a global tax deal. Some Chinese sources argue that Beijing would not cater to America’s latest initiative unless a clear advantage could be gained, such as a reduction in US tariffs on Chinese imports. Ministry of Finance officials did not take questions on the subject at a press conference on Wednesday. And the ministry did not reply to a faxed inquiry from the South China Morning Post about the country’s position on the issue. Nevertheless, the new US proposal has vaulted the tax issue to the top of the global policy agenda, sparking cautious optimism that a deal can be reached in the coming months. G20 finance ministers and central bank governors endorsed the overall concept in a statement after their meeting on Wednesday, saying they “remain committed to reaching a global and consensus-based solution” by the middle of this year. Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said there have been negotiations on a global taxation scheme since 2012, with 139 countries now participating. Even though China is not a member of the OECD, it is “fully involved”, he said. Everybody recognises that if there is no agreement, the alternative is chaos – the alternative is a trade war that nobody wants Pascal Saint-Amans, OECD “There is a very strong chance [of reaching an agreement] because many are interested,” he said. “Yes, you have a great diversity, but everybody recognises that if there is no agreement, the alternative is chaos – the alternative is a trade war that nobody wants.” Alicia Garcia-Herrero, chief economist for Asia-Pacific at Natixis, said the 21 per cent minimum corporate tax being proposed by the US was unlikely to receive strong resistance from China, where the official corporate tax rate is currently 25 per cent. However, Beijing can reduce its income tax rate to 15 per cent for firms in industries encouraged by the government, including a range of hi-tech sectors such as semiconductor research and manufacturing, as well as new energy vehicles. “If you go to the G20 with this proposal, it will go through because it’s not a big deal for China, in my opinion,” she said. “I know that the effective tax rate [after accounting for subsidies] is lower. But that’s not the point, because the ways to lower that tax are not that transparent.” Joe Biden says US$2.3 trillion infrastructure plan is essential for US to compete with China However, “even for China, tax havens are a problem”, Garcia-Herrero added. “The losers are tax havens like Hong Kong,” she said, noting that for businesses incorporated in Hong Kong, the first HK$2 million (US$257,000) worth of profits are taxed at half the standard tax rate, while the remaining profits are taxed at the existing 16.5 per cent tax rate – both below the minimum 21 per cent rate proposed by the US. Washington’s proposal for a global minimum corporate tax rate is part of its effort to increase US corporate tax revenue by cutting off the ability of US companies to shift income abroad, to lower-tax countries. The higher tax revenue, in turn, would help fund President Joe Biden’s ambitious US$2.25 trillion infrastructure spending bill. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen framed the proposal as a way to shift the framework of global competition. If [the US] really wants to create a fair and just environment, it should lower import duties on Chinese goods and investment barriers, rather than maintaining a double-standard Zhao Xijun, Renmin University “By choosing to compete on taxes, we’ve neglected to compete on the skill of our workers and the strength of our infrastructure. It’s a self-defeating competition, and neither President Biden nor I am interested in participating in it anymore,” Yellen explained in an opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Zhao Xijun, a professor of finance at Renmin University of China, noted that the US tax proposal was still subject to the approval of the US Congress, with the outcome uncertain. And he linked Chinese support for such a tax deal with American concessions on trade tariffs. “It’s a proposal brought forward by the United States, not a Chinese call,” he said. “If [the US] really wants to create a fair and just environment, it should lower import duties on Chinese goods and investment barriers, rather than maintaining a double-standard.” So far, the Biden administration has refused to ease tariffs on nearly US$370 billion worth of Chinese goods imposed during the Trump administration. US-China relations: trade talks will take place ‘when the time is right’ “China of course wants a fair tax environment. Rising protectionism is not good for the global economy. The US should make changes first,” Zhao said, arguing that time is on China’s side. Wang Dehua, a senior fiscal researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that some countries, such as Ireland, provide room for multinational companies to relocate their businesses to avoid taxes. And he said that an international consensus, not a specific tax rate, should be built to curb such actions. However, “tax arrangements are a sovereign matter. The proposal is still far from becoming a reality,” he added. Additional reporting by Sidney LengMore from South China Morning Post:G20 commit to work towards ‘ambitious’ international corporate tax deal backed by US Treasury Secretary Janet YellenTaiwan charges Hong Kong execs with money laundering, is probing spying claimsHong Kong stocks show fatigue as tech stock sell-off infects Bilibili’s Hong Kong market debutChina eyes domestic yuan futures market to help boost currency internationalisationG20 set to extend ‘last or final’ debt payment freeze until end of 2021 to aid coronavirus recovery, World Bank chief saysThis article China quiet on global minimum corporate tax rate backed by G20 as questions over Hong Kong’s tax-haven status arise first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing said on Friday it had recommended that 16 airlines flying its 737 MAX planes address a "potential electrical issue" in a new setback for the top-selling model.
On a small boat nosing its way through the frozen waters of the Grebbestad archipelago on Sweden's west coast, Lotta Klemming scans the mist-covered rocks for the perfect spot to find a local delicacy.
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The El Clasico is a unique opportunity for the promising youngsters of Real Madrid and Barcelona to showcase their talents.