Bao Fan, Missing Chinese Banker, Resigns After Investigation

After disappearing nearly a year ago as part of an investigation by Chinese authorities, prominent investment banker Bao Fan has resigned as chairman and chief executive of China Renaissance Holdings, the company said on Friday. Mr. Bao, a deal-making banker for Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent, went missing last February. China Renaissance initially said it had lost contact with Mr. Bao before later stating that he was cooperating with an investigation being carried out by the authorities in China. Mr. Bao’s disappearance signaled an escalation in Beijing’s crackdown on…

Hong Kong Pushes New Security Law to Root Out ‘Seeds of Unrest’

The Hong Kong government will enact a long-shelved security law to curb foreign influence and expand the definition of offenses like stealing state secrets and treason, officials announced on Tuesday, in a move expected to further silence dissent in the once-freewheeling Chinese territory. The proposed law would lay out five major areas of offenses: treason, insurrection, theft of state secrets, sabotage and external interference. Some of the definitions would echo mainland Chinese treatments of those offenses. “Foreign intelligence organizations, the C.I.A. and British intelligence agencies have publicly stated that they…

As China’s Markets Stumble, Japan Rises Toward Record

There’s a shift underway in Asia that’s reverberating through global financial markets. Japan’s stock market, overlooked by investors for decades, is making a furious comeback. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index is edging closer to the record it set on Dec. 29, 1989, which effectively marked the peak of Japan’s economic ascendancy before a collapse that led to decades of low growth. China, long an impossible-to-ignore market, has been spiraling downward. Stocks in China recently touched lows not seen since a rout in 2015, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was…

China Appears to Backpedal From Video Gaming Crackdown

Chinese regulators on Tuesday appeared to backpedal from a plan to reduce how much money people spend on online video games, after the proposal had tanked video gaming companies’ stocks and raised doubts about the government’s commitment to reviving China’s slowing economy. The draft rules disappeared from the website of the National Press and Publication Administration, the agency overseeing the proposal, after previously being posted there for public comment. Instead, the page displayed an error. The agency, which issues licenses to game publishers and regulates the industry, did not issue…

China’s Youth Unemployment Rate Is Back, and Better

After suspending the public release of youth unemployment rates last year, China started distributing the information again on Wednesday, using a different measurement criteria that lowered the figure significantly. China’s National Bureau of Statistics stopped announcing the jobless rate among 16- to 24-year-olds after the figure climbed for six consecutive months to 21.3 percent in June, a record high. The government said when it suspended the numbers for July that the collection of the information needed to be “further improved and optimized.” The growing number of unemployed young people had…

China’s GDP Grew in 2023, but Economic Strains Lurk

Car production set records in China last year. Restaurants and hotels were increasingly full. Construction of new factories surged. Yet China’s economic strengths conceal weaknesses. Deep discounts helped drive car sales, particularly for electric cars. Diners and travelers chose cheaper dishes and less expensive hotels. Many factories ran at half capacity or less because of weak demand inside China, and are working to export more to make up for it. China’s economy grew 5.2 percent last year as it rebounded from nearly three years of stringent “zero Covid” pandemic control…

Taiwan Raised an Alarm About a Chinese Satellite. Chaos Ensued.

Taiwan’s defense ministry issued an urgent alert Tuesday about a Chinese satellite launched on a rocket flying over the island, an alarming message that interrupted the final days of campaigning before a major election and spurred accusations of a political ploy. The alert was sent to mobile phones across the island of 23 million people, where presidential and legislative assembly elections will be held Saturday. In English, the initial alert cautioned there was a missile flyover — an error quickly corrected by Taiwanese officials. “It was a satellite, not a…

China Says It Detained a Foreign Consultant for Spying for Britain

China’s top intelligence agency said Monday that it had detained the head of an overseas consulting agency for working as a spy for the British government to collect Chinese state secrets. The Chinese Ministry of State Security said it caught a consultant with the surname Huang, who collected China-related intelligence and found personnel on behalf of MI6. The British intelligence agency recruited and trained Huang — who is from an unspecified “third country” — in the United Kingdom and other places, the ministry said in a post on its official…

Illness Surge in China Is Not From a Novel Pathogen, Data Suggests

The World Health Organization said that China had shared data about a recent surge in respiratory illnesses in children, one day after the agency said it was seeking information about the possibility of undiagnosed pneumonia cases there. The Chinese data indicated “no detection of any unusual or novel pathogens,” according to a W.H.O. statement on Thursday. The data, which included laboratory results from infected children, indicated that the rise in cases was a result of known viruses and bacteria, such as influenza and mycoplasma pneumoniae, a bacterium that causes usually…

China Bet It All on Real Estate. Now Its Economy Is Paying the Price.

When China’s housing boom seemed like a one-way bet, Gary Meng’s parents bought an apartment from China Evergrande, the country’s biggest developer. Soon the company called with another pitch: to manage their wealth. It was a good deal with little risk, the family thought. Evergrande had global recognition and was a politically important company at the heart of China’s growing economy. They invested all their savings. Then the unthinkable happened. In 2021, Evergrande defaulted, representing the start of a real estate meltdown that has shaken China’s economy, felled some of…