Fighting Disease-caused Poverty
Li Bin, director at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said Aug. 30, 2017 investigation confirmed that by the end of 2016, diseases have caused 5.53 million households, or 7.34 million people, to fall into or return to poverty. Although China already has basic medical insurance for urban workers and for urban and rural residents, as well as serious disease medical insurance, cases of disease-caused poverty show that the safety net is not tight enough.
Time and money are two key elements in fighting disease-caused poverty. Preventing diseases from impoverishing families while ensuring the continued operation of the healthcare system call for efficient allocation of resources by marketized means, which is what the current social security system lacks.
Investigation into Data Black Market
The Cyber Security Law of China, which came into force June 1, 2017, stipulates that obtaining or selling more than 50 pieces of personal information illegally is criminal behavior. Available statistics show that about 5.53 billion pieces of personal information, or an average of four pieces per person, have been leaked in China. Among them, 80 percent of data were leaked by company insiders; while just 20 percent were leaked by hackers.
However, our investigation reveals that a lot of channels for underground data transactions remained after the implementation of the Cyber Security Law. The daily transaction volume of this ¡°underground black network¡± could reach up to 100 million yuan, while its overall size is hard to estimate. Some data companies even received massive funding and became star start-ups.
CRS Implemented to Crack Down on Tax Dodging
China implemented Common Reporting Standard (CRS) for non-residents (individuals and enterprises besides tax residents of China) in July 1, 2017. The information will be submitted to the SAT, and an information exchange with countries (and regions) that have agreed to trade information with China is planned to begin in September 2018. At the same time, the Chinese tax authority will get domestic tax residents¡¯ tax-related information embodied in their financial accounts in matching countries.
The group of people most affected by the planned information exchange are China¡¯s taxed residents that own large sums of assets in offshore financial accounts. In addition to fighting against cross-border tax evasion, this information can also be used to fight corruption, money laundering, and financial crimes.
Regulators Curb Consumer Loans for Housing
It is estimated that about one trillion yuan¡¯s worth of credit funds, including part of personal consumption loans and business loans, have entered the real estate market over the first eight months of 2017. In response, financial authorities in first-tier cities, i.e. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, once again began to crack down on using leverage to buy homes.
Credit is the key factor that determines short-term housing prices. Given the current credit tightening trend, the pressure on short-term home price control is big. Two key factors determine the market trend in the real estate market after the third quarter of 2017: the degree of restraints on consumer credit on the personal side; and the degree of restraints on trust on the corporate side.
Global Monetary Policy Gets More Normalized
The real exchange rate has been very stable over the past few months, despite great differences in monetary and fiscal policies worldwide, frequent occurrences of geopolitical events, and substantial fluctuations in global commodity prices. Currently, monetary and fiscal policies are slowly returning to normal, commodity prices are stable as the global economy is expanding, and the exchange rate is expected to float within a relatively narrow range.
Global investors will adjust their expectations over the next 12 to 18 months to accommodate the fact that US is getting more radical in its normalization of monetary policy. The actual broad trade-weighted dollar index will grow by 5 to 10 percent.