The Blackstone Group’s Secret China Strategy Revealed!

By design, private equity and the companies that manage it are among the business world’s most secretive instruments and organizations. Which is probably one reason why the Blackstone Group – one of the world’s largest private equity firms – appealed to China’s newly formed State Investment Corporation [apparently, the fund’s name has not been finalized],…

“Design flaws” Responsible for Shandong Aluminum Explosion

The August 19th explosion of the Shandong Weiqiao Group’s aluminum plant in Zouping County, Shandong Province has received far less media attention than the Xintai mining disaster. But, at least from the standpoint of China’s industrial modernization, it is far more consequential. As I noted in a post to this blog on Monday, the Weiqiao…

China’s Recycling Economy … Defined! Sort of.

China Daily is reporting that China’s draft “circular economy” law has been submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (danwei reports that the Beijing News is also carrying it). As a translation, “circular economy” is not only awkward, it is also regularly substituted by “Recycling Economy” and “Sustainable Economy.” For the purpose…

Whose Subprime is Less Sublime?

The South China Morning Post is running an unsettling little story [subscriber only] suggesting that a looming Chinese mortgage crisis will make the current US mortgage meltdown look gentle by comparison. The key paragraphs are simple statements of fact: Yi Xianrong , of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Finance and Banking, said…

Worker’s Holiday, Summer of 2008?

Finally, it seems, the various international and national Olympic committees are beginning to take notice of Beijing’s significant pollution and its likely impact upon the athletes. As James Fallows of the Atlantic has been pointing out in his blog, interested observers have long assumed that the Chinese government has “a last-minute, draconian plan” to deal…

Price-fixing, Chinese Style, Pt. 2

I guess price-fixing isn’t acceptable in China, after all. According to just-published accounts in the South China Morning Post [subscriber only] and China Daily, the National Development and Reform Commission has issued a notice prohibiting the formation of cartels – including restaurant cartels – for the purpose of pushing up commodity prices. Note to NDRC:…