“All-in-the-Family” Earnings Management and Misgovernance in Asia (Bamboo Innovator Insight)

The following article is extracted from the Bamboo Innovator Insight weekly column blog related to the context and thought leadership behind the stock idea generation process of Asian wide-moat businesses that are featured in the monthly entitled The Moat Report Asia. Fellow value investors get to go behind the scene to learn thought-provoking timely insights on key macro and industry trends in Asia, as well as benefit from the occasional discussion of potential red flags, misgovernance or fraud-detection trails ahead of time to enhance the critical-thinking skill about the myriad pitfalls of investing in Asia at the microstructure- and firm-level.

Celltrion

Chinese banks suspend mortgage approvals amid fund shortage

Chinese banks suspend mortgage approvals amid fund shortage

Staff Reporter

2013-09-24

China is once again facing a shortage of funds, with the benchmark overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor) rising to 3.56% from Sept. 6’s 2.95%, and banks have begun to suspend mortgage approvals, the Beijing-based China Times (not our sister paper) reports. China saw an unprecedented liquidity shortage in June, with the overnight Shibor on June 20 surging 578.4 basis points to 13.444%, a record high. Banks would typically start to tighten their mortgage approvals near the end of a year, but many have already begun doing so, the paper said. When Mr Lu applied for a mortgage for his house, a bank clerk told him that the bank may at best approve the mortgage a month later and there is no guarantee when the approval will be made. An unnamed bank executive confirmed that most banks have faced tightening approval practices in mortgages and other loans as demand for loans far exceeds the funds available. The executive, however, said the suspension of loan approvals began just one week before the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 19, and liquidity will remain tight until the end of this month for his bank. Read more of this post

Pension funds and other large investors are throwing away billions of dollars a year on worthless advice from investment consultants, according to academic research

September 22, 2013 4:16 am

Billions of dollars wasted on investment advice

By Steve Johnson

Pension funds and other large investors are throwing away billions of dollars a year on worthless advice from investment consultants, according to academic research. The funds recommended by consultants do no better than any other, and by some measures they underperform the wider market significantly, the research* found. On an equal-weighted basis, US equity funds recommended by consultants underperformed other funds by 1.1 per cent a year between 1999 and 2011, according to analysis of 29 consultancies accounting for more than 90 per cent of the market by a team from Oxford university’s Saïd Business School. “The enormous power wielded by consultants is not matched by their performance,” said Jose Martinez, one of the authors of the study. “In US equities, one of the largest asset classes, investment consultants as an industry appear to add no value in fund selection,” added co-author Howard Jones. Read more of this post

Dynamic Duos: 5 Brilliant Business Lessons From Warby Parker’s CEOs

Dynamic Duos: 5 Brilliant Business Lessons From Warby Parker’s CEOs

LAUNCHED IN 2010, EYEWEAR RETAILER WARBY PARKER HAS TRANSFORMED THE WAY MANY CONSUMERS THINK ABOUT GLASSES, SELLING ULTRA-STYLISH SPECS–ONLINE–FOR LESS THAN $100.

Neil Blumenthal and David GilboaCofounders and CEOs

Warby Parker started with a casual conversation among friends. Four Wharton MBA students were hanging out one morning on campus, and one of them, Dave Gilboa, happened to mention how annoyed he was with the high price of eyeglasses. They talked over the problem a bit, wondering if glasses might somehow work as an online business. “I remember going home and just constantly thinking about this idea, having trouble going to sleep that night,” recalls Neil Blumenthal, who, along with Gilboa and the other two friends, founded the transformative web retailer in 2010. Three years later, Warby Parker is a major success. The online business–which has received $55 million in funding so far–combines innovations like home try-on with high-end design and a smooth user experience. And the company is now expanding to brick-and-mortar stores, an effort that should get a boost now that J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler has joined Warby Parker’s board. Co-CEOs Blumenthal and Gilboa have made plenty of smart decisions while growing the business. They recently talked to Fast Company about their approach. Read more of this post

Three Signs That You Should Kill an Innovative Idea

Three Signs That You Should Kill an Innovative Idea

by Michael Schrage  |   8:00 AM September 24, 2013

Whether you’re a digital start-up or an institutional entrepreneur, three simple heuristics offer an excellent way to determine whether a fledgling innovation initiative should be put out of its misery (and yours).  Even if the innovation business case appears compelling and its numbers sound, should these three pathologies appear, don’t hesitate or delay: Kill your innovation effort ASAP.

1) No Pleasant Surprises

Almost all innovation efforts have the hiccoughs and bumps in the road. Design schedules invariably slip and that “quick-and-dirty” prototype ends up costing much more than expected. That’s normal. But listen closely for and pay attention to the pleasant surprises:  The coding that takes two weeks to develop and test instead of two months; the material that has more malleability and strength at lower cost; that really smart supplier who makes one of her smarter designers available to collaborate. The absence of pleasant surprise is not unlike the dog that doesn’t bark: A signal that something that should be happening isn’t. If the innovation idea or proposal really represents a novel value creation opportunity, there’ll be serendipities sprinkled amidst the inevitable unpleasantness. Those “small wins” may not look or feel like much but, almost always, they signal new opportunities for exploitation and advance. Read more of this post

Chanel’s Wertheimer Family Seen With $19 Billion Fortune

Chanel’s Wertheimer Family Seen With $19 Billion Fortune

Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, with his shock of white hair, black glasses and leather gloves, will be the center of attention in Paris next Tuesday when he debuts the luxury-goods company’s latest ready-to-wear collection during the city’s Fashion Week. “The Chanel show by far generates the most interest,” Dana Thomas, the author of “Deluxe,” a book on the luxury industry, said in a phone interview from the French capital. “If you only go to one show a season, Chanel’s the one you have to go to.” Lagerfeld’s billionaire patrons of 30 years, Chanel owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, will walk in unnoticed, according to Thomas. The brothers will sit in the fourth or fifth row and slip away afterward. The pair keep their private lives — and their finances — out of the spotlight to such an extent that their combined $19.2 billion fortune is more than double previous estimates. According to its annual report filed with Kamer van Koophandel, the Dutch chamber of commerce, Chanel International BV reported consolidated net revenue of $5.9 billion in 2011, and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $1.4 billion. Read more of this post

China Probes Juice Makers into Allegations of Processing Rotten Fruits

China Probes Juice Makers into Allegations of Processing Rotten Fruits

09-24 11:24 Caijing

Reports said some juice factories based in central China’s Anhui of purchasing bad fruits for 0.4 yuan($0.07) per kilogram to make fortified juice as a part of their cost-saving measures.

China’s food regulator has launched an urgent investigation into allegations against several home juice makers that reportedly use cheap rotten fruits for production in the country’s latest food scandal, highlighting increasing concerns over food safety among the public.  Reports said some juice factories based in central China’s Anhui purchased bad fruits for 0.4 yuan($0.07) per kilogram to make fortified juice as part of their cost-saving measures. Read more of this post

India and the danger of potential

India and the danger of potential

David Keohane

| Sep 24 11:47 | Comment | Share

ES-India-employment-Sept-18

If India continues its current path it will face a catastrophic shortage of jobs, creating a young and angry population, and with it conditions for social unrest and economic disaster. Whether India exploits or is undermined by its demographics will likely be determined by the policy choices over the next two administrations. It simply cannot afford a repeat of the last five years. That’s from a recent Espirito Santo note that makes for refreshing reading compared with the usual demographic dividend stories that cruise through our inboxes every few days. Read more of this post

McDonald’s Luring Starbucks Crowd With Pumpkin Lattes

McDonald’s Luring Starbucks Crowd With Pumpkin Lattes

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD) is adding pumpkin-spice lattes to lure the Starbucks crowd and boost traffic. The McCafe pumpkin latte — a mix of espresso, milk and flavored syrup — will come in three sizes and be available with whole or non-fat milk, the Oak Brook, Illinois-based company said. A 16-ounce latte with whole milk has 340 calories and will cost $2.89. A regular coffee is $1. The lattes are being introduced this month and will sell through mid-November. Read more of this post

Why ‘The Voice’ Is China’s No. 1 TV Show; ‘The Voice’ Appeals to Viewers Because of Its Surprise Winners

September 19, 2013, 9:38 p.m. ET

Why ‘The Voice’ Is China’s No. 1 TV Show

‘The Voice’ Appeals to Viewers Because of Its Surprise Winners

LAURIE BURKITT

U.S. fans of the hit talent show “The Voice” may take for granted that its judges sit with their backs to performers, choosing winners purely on the basis of their voices. But in China, where television and much of society is frequently biased toward the well-connected, the backward chairs are an important clue about why “The Voice” has become China’s most popular show. When the Chinese version of “The Voice” appeared last year, many viewers expected it to be another typical Chinese variety show. TV networks in China are saturated with reality-show competitions, from dating to job hunting and cooking, which tend to be predetermined, often with the best-looking contestants destined to win. Read more of this post

BlackBerry Investor Prem Watsa Famous for Making Contrarian Bets; The Head of Canadian Firm Fairfax Financial Is Often Compared to Warren Buffett

September 23, 2013, 7:30 p.m. ET

BlackBerry Investor Prem Watsa Famous for Making Contrarian Bets

The Head of Canadian Firm Fairfax Financial Is Often Compared to Warren Buffett

BEN DUMMETT and PAUL VIEIRA

blackberryriseandfall

The Canadian investor leading an effort to take BlackBerry Ltd. BBRY -2.38% private is famous for making big contrarian bets that often work out. Prem Watsa, who runs Toronto-based insurance firm Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.FFH.T +0.49% and until last month served on BlackBerry’s board, is often compared with U.S. investment guru Warren Buffett. Mr. Watsa has over the years focused on beaten-up stocks—including at times, his own—and has long explained his choices in plainly written annual reports that are closely followed by many investors. Read more of this post

Asian Coal Producers Have Increased Default Risk, Moody’s Says

Asian Coal Producers Have Increased Default Risk, Moody’s Says

Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Ltd. (1733) and Hidili Industry International Development Ltd. (1393) are among Asian coal producers at an increased risk of default on the outlook for prices, Moody’s Investors Service Inc. said. Weak coal prices will “pressure the credit quality and liquidity of most coal producers in the Asia Pacific region in the next 12 to 18 months,” Simon Wong, a vice president at Moody’s, said in a report today. The rating services company is “particularly concerned” about Winsway, a Chinese coking coal importer, which has a liquidity buffer of less than three months, Wong said. Read more of this post

Is the Race for Smartphone Camera Megapixels Over?

Sep 23, 2013

Is the Race for Smartphone Camera Megapixels Over?

EVA DOU

The abbreviation µm (micron) is probably a lot more obscure to the average smartphone user than MP (megapixel). It may become more familiar, as some smartphone makers have been saying they no longer care so much about higher pixel count, or megapixels. Several high-end smartphone makers are focusing this year on different camera measures such as the size of the pixel, or µm. Apple Inc. and HTC Corp.2498.TW +0.72%both launched their premium phones this year with larger pixels, not more. While Apple kept the same pixel count as last year, HTC actually halved its pixel count on its flagship phone, arguing that having fewer pixels allows room for larger ones that capture more light. Read more of this post

The ECB’s very own tapering problem

The ECB’s very own tapering problem

Izabella Kaminska

| Sep 24 14:59 | Comment | Share

Eonia-excess-liquidity-590x290

A while ago we speculated that because of the ongoing bifurcation of the eurozone market, Eonia rates could rise, and liquidity once again concentrate in core economies, as banks pay back their LTRO funds. Even if it appeared that the system could handle the repayments, banks in core economies would still be inclined to take advantage of extremely cheap negative rates available in collateral markets, so as to earn a spread on the deposit facility in a way that arguably encumbered the remaining liquidity. That would make it less available to periphery institutions. Meanwhile, without the additional layer of ECB liquidity in the system — which acts as a type of system-wide insurance mechanism — periphery banks would consequently be forced to make ever more competitive bids for Eonia funds, lifting rates across the board. In a note on Tuesday, Lena Komileva, chief economist at G+ Economics, stressed the degree to which excess liquidity had indeed been removed from the ECB system, and its greater than expected effect on Eonia rates (our emphasis): Excess liquidity in the Eurozone has fallen to €218.7bn, near its lowest level since end-2011. The decline is linked to banks’ repayment of the ECB’s 3yr LTROs, which in turn is linked to two developments: a reduction in market fragmentation and improved functioning of interbank markets, shrinking bank balance sheets due to recapitalisation pressures during the crisis which reduces lender demand for leverage but also curbs credit flows to the real economy . Read more of this post

S&L Relic Is Sword of Choice in U.S. Bid to Punish Banks

S&L Relic Is Sword of Choice in U.S. Bid to Punish Banks

Weeks after taking over as the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan in 2009, Preet Bharara said he considered whether his office could hold individuals and banks liable for the financial crisis when there wasn’t enough evidence to bring a criminal case. During an interview in his office overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, Bharara recalled that he came upon an idea after long talks with staffers: maybe lawyers in the office’s civil division could go after these cases. After months of research, prosecutors dusted off the Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, known as FIRREA. Read more of this post

How do you spot a real van Gogh? Van Gogh himself was characteristically gloomy in his own assessment of his efforts: it was “well below what I’d wished to do”

The Economist explains

How do you spot a real van Gogh?

Sep 23rd 2013, 11:31 by T.W.

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ON SEPTEMBER 24th a newly discovered painting by Vincent van Gogh is due to go on show in Amsterdam. “Sunset at Montmajour”, a dazzling depiction of a landscape near Arles, in southern France, was painted in 1888 but lay unloved in an attic for decades because it was believed to be a fake. But earlier this month experts at the Van Gogh Museum, where it will be on show, declared that it was the real thing after all, sending its value soaring. How do they know it is genuine? Van Gogh famously sold only one painting during his short life. “Sunset at Montmajour”, a 37-by-29-inch canvas, was bought in 1908, 18 years after his death, by a Norwegian businessman, Christian Nicolai Mustad. According to the AP news agency, Mustad had it on display until the French ambassador to Sweden told him (wrongly, it turns out) that it was a fake. The masterpiece was promptly hidden away in the attic. When Mustad died in 1970 the painting was bought by a collector. Experts at the time said they too thought that the unsigned canvas was a fake, or the work of a lesser painter. Read more of this post

Science can help to spot symptoms of executive hubris; Savvy investors should screen executives’ statements for signs of arrogance

September 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Science can help to spot symptoms of executive hubris

By Gillian Tett

Savvy investors should screen executives’ statements for signs of arrogance

How can an investor tell if a bank is heading for danger? In the past five years, analysts have proposed all manner of financial measures. But why not analyse the words of the person running the bank? Researchers have been looking at the speech patterns of leaders such as British politicians and bank chief executives. And this has revealed a point that we instinctively know but often forget: power not only goes to the head, but also to the tongue. Read more of this post

Juice in China made with poor-quality or rotten fruit

Juice in China made with poor-quality or rotten fruit

Staff Reporter

2013-09-24

As living standards improve in China and the public becomes increasingly health-conscious, the consumption healthy beverages and fruit juice in particular has become an established trend. Juice, however, is not as healthy as many may think, according to Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald. Several major domestic fruit juice producers, such as Haisheng Juice, Huiyuan Juice and Yantai North Andre Juice, are located in proximity to major fruit farms, including in Dangshan in east China’s Anhui province and Pingyi in Shandong province. These companies are thus able to obtain cheaply a large volume of overripe or even rotting fruit for their juices or fruit that fell to the ground before ripening, the paper said. Read more of this post

Chinese Rater Dagong Flags Local Debt; In Rare Downgrades, Firm Warns About Bonds From Construction Companies

September 23, 2013, 3:59 p.m. ET

Chinese Rater Dagong Flags Local Debt

In Rare Downgrades, Firm Warns About Bonds From Construction Companies

DINNY MCMAHON

BEIJING—Two years after it tried to position itself as a global player by downgrading U.S. government debt, China’s best known credit-ratings firm is raising red flags over a problem close to home: climbing local-government debt. At the end of June, Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. broke ranks with its local competitors and downgraded three bonds issued by infrastructure-construction companies wholly owned by Chinese cities. It said it was losing faith in the governments’ backing of the bonds. Read more of this post

Henry Blodget: Let’s Get One Thing Straight — Apple Had No Choice But To Oust Steve Jobs

Let’s Get One Thing Straight — Apple Had No Choice But To Oust Steve Jobs

HENRY BLODGET SEP. 23, 2013, 3:22 PM 4,720 14

I am finally reading Walter Isaacson’s excellent biography of Steve Jobs.

I’m about a third of the way through: Jobs has dropped out of college, founded Apple, helped grow Apple into a $1+ billion public company, and launched the Macintosh. He has also resigned from Apple in disgust after being stripped of his operating role as head of the Mac division. As I was reading through the latter episode (listening, actually — I have the audiobook version), I was struck by several things, one of which is important. In the past 15 years, the story has spread that the dumbest decision in corporate history was the Apple board’s decision to oust Steve Jobs from the company in the spring of 1985  If the board hadn’t ousted Steve Jobs, the story goes, Apple would have much more rapidly become what it later became — the most successful, valuable, and beloved technology company on earth. Read more of this post

Billionaire Richard Branson Says Personalty Is More Important Than Skill When Hiring Employees

Billionaire Richard Branson Says Personalty Is More Important Than Skill When Hiring Employees

JULIE BORT SEP. 23, 2013, 8:18 PM 2,144 4

Billionaire business mogul Richard Branson says that the single most important attribute when considering whether to hire someone is personality. This is even more important than if the person has the skills for the job. People who are “fun, friendly, caring and love helping others” are winners and the rest of the job can be taught, he wrote in an column published on LinkedIn on Monday. He explains:

“You can learn most jobs extremely quickly once you are thrown in the deep end. Within three months you can usually know the ins and outs of a role. If you are satisfied with the personality, then look at experience and expertise. Find people with transferable skills – you need team players who can pitch in and try their hand at all sorts of different jobs. While specialists are sometimes necessary, versatility should not be underestimated.”

That’s an interesting way to think about staffing up the workforce, especially in the tech industry, where startups are in bidding wars for developers and designers with certain tech skills and a good track record. He’s also not a big fan of what he calls “hiring in bulk,” where companies are so desperate to get help, that they relax their standards to fill the ranks. That would perhaps make him not so keen on the whole acqu-hire trend, unless the acquired company has a corporate culture that fits really well with the one doing the buying. He also cautions managers to be careful of jumping to judgement about personality from one interview. Interviews are stressful and introverts can get a bit quiet while extroverts can get a bit over-the-top. He advises managers to make an effort to really see a person’s personality. Yet, he says, managers shouldn’t be looking for a personality that conforms. It’s not about sameness, it’s about a well-balanced team. “Don’t be afraid of hiring mavericks. Somebody who thinks a little differently … Some of the best people we’ve ever hired didn’t seem to fit in at first, but proved to be indispensable over time.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria is the founder and chairman of Cobra Beer. He developed the beverage in 1989 to complement Indian food and started importing to the UK in 1990. Today, Cobra has a retail sales turnover of £144m in the UK

September 13, 2013 6:20 pm

Lord Bilimoria: a heady brew of beer and politics

By Natalie Graham

Lord Karan Bilimoria is the founder and chairman of Cobra Beer. He developed the beverage in 1989 to complement Indian food and started importing to the UK in 1990. Today, Cobra has a retail sales turnover of £144m in the UK and has a global joint venture with Molson Coors, one of the world’s largest brewers. Born in Hyderabad, India, to a military family, Bilimoria gained a degree in commerce before qualifying in London as a chartered accountant. In 2006 he became Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea. Read more of this post

Scientists are finding that maintaining stability and balance with each step we take requires complex coordination. The research could someday help athletes and prevent falls among the elderly

September 23, 2013, 7:06 p.m. ET

From Athletes to the Elderly: The Science of Trips and Falls

New research into how we maintain our balance could help athletes and prevent falls among the elderly

SHIRLEY S. WANG

New research into how we maintain our balance could help athletes and prevent falls among the elderly. Scientists are finding that maintaining stability and balance with each step we take requires complex coordination of foot placement, arm movement, trunk angle and neck and head motion. That’s because every step is different from the one before it. There are slight variations in stride length and width and the angle at which the foot hits the ground, as well as small shifts of weight in the torso. People’s bodies when walking must constantly make minuscule adjustments to accommodate these variations. Read more of this post

Gandhi’s formative years: To understand a biographical subject, we must understand the people around them

September 20, 2013 7:10 pm

Gandhi’s formative years

By Ramachandra Guha

To understand a biographical subject, we must understand the people around them

Iwas given my first tutorials in the craft of biography some 20 years ago. My teacher was the great Goethe scholar Nicholas Boyle, then a colleague at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. At the time, I was working on a life of anthropologist Verrier Elwin (1902-64), an Oxford scholar and renegade priest who had made his home among the tribal people of Central India. It was my first biographical project, and I was naturally keen to seek the counsel of a master of the genre.

Read more of this post

The Friendship Bank: How and Why Even the Most Giving Friend Expects Payback; Being helpful and giving makes friendship better—as long as it is a two-way street

September 23, 2013, 6:58 p.m. ET

The Friendship Bank: How and Why Even the Most Giving Friend Expects Payback

Being helpful and giving makes friendship better—as long as it is a two-way street

ELIZABETH BERNSTEIN

For 20 years, Christina Steinorth was happy to help one of her close friends with whatever she needed—last-minute baby sitting, a drive to work when her car was in the shop, countless hours of free marriage advice (Ms. Steinorth is a licensed marriage and family therapist). She didn’t expect anything in return. When Ms. Steinorth and her husband decided to adopt a baby a few years ago, she asked her pal to write a letter of recommendation. The friend agreed enthusiastically, Ms. Steinorth says, but months went by and no letter arrived. She asked again and the friend apologized profusely, but still no letter. After several more months, Ms. Steinorth asked one more time. Her friend ignored her. “I learned a very painful lesson—that she wanted more from me than she was willing to give back,” Ms. Steinorth said. Have you ever tried to make a withdrawal from the friendship bank, only to find your balance was much lower than you thought it was? Read more of this post

Ajisen (0538) has a new COO with a criminal record for corruption. But on the plus side, he is a graduate of prestigous US university CalTech – or is he?

McAjisen
24th September 2013, David Webb

Webb-site notes with interest the announcement on 18-Jul-2013 by noodle restaurant chain Ajisen (China) Holdings Ltd (Ajisen, 0538) of its new Chief Operations Officer, Joseph Lau Si Sing (Mr Lau). Conspicuously missing was any mention of the fact that Mr Lau was jailed in 2009 for corruption as Managing Director of McDonald’s Restaurants (Hong Kong) Ltd. The media quickly picked up on this omission, and the next day, Ajisen admitted in a second announcement that it knew about the convictions but still considered him the right person for the job based on his experience. Read more of this post

“Disgustologist” digs deep into science of revulsion

“Disgustologist” digs deep into science of revulsion

2:02am EDT

By Kate KellandHealth and Science Correspondent

LONDON (Reuters) – Valerie Curtis is fascinated by faeces. And by vomit, pus, urine, maggots and putrid flesh. It is not the oozing, reeking substances themselves that play on her mind, but our response to them and what it can teach us. The doctor of anthropology and expert on hygiene and behaviour says disgust governs our lives – dictating what we eat, wear, buy, and even how we vote and who we desire. Read more of this post

Why Is It Hard for Some People to Swallow Pills? Mind Over Medicine: Getting Over the Fear of Taking Pills

September 23, 2013, 6:55 p.m. ET

Why Is It Hard for Some People to Swallow Pills?Mind Over Medicine: Getting Over the Fear of Taking Pills

Strategies to Make Medicine Easier to Swallow

HEIDI MITCHELL

For some healthy adults, getting sick enough to require medication is only half of the problem. The other is getting that pill to go down. Stephen Cassivi, a thoracic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who specializes in esophageal disorders, offers one explanation for why some people find it difficult to swallow pills.

—Heidi Mitchell

Fear Factor

Dr. Cassivi says the reasons some people can’t even get a baby aspirin to go down the esophagus are varied. “People who have underlying swallowing difficulties, called dysphagia, may have trouble swallowing pills, but that is generally the result of other problems, such as stroke or surgery or gastroesophageal reflux,” he says. Read more of this post

China’s Generation Winnebago Avoids Traffic in RVs

China’s Generation Winnebago Avoids Traffic in RVs

While stuck in traffic on the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway last year, Yin Ximin decided he’d been smart to buy a recreational vehicle. “Women were so desperate they had their friends or family shield them so they could urinate on the side of the road,” said Yin, 48, who owns an advertising firm in Beijing. “An RV makes long trips less painful. We can lounge around, have drinks, listen to music — and use the bathroom.” Back in Beijing, Yin uses his 19-foot (6-meter) motor home from manufacturer Shandong Dream Trip RV Co. to fetch clients from the airport and schmooze on the way back into the increasingly gridlocked city, where the number of registered cars has more than tripled since 2000. As more Chinese embrace automobile culture, foreign RV makers are expanding in China. Researcher 21RV.com estimates the number of motor homes in China will surge from about 9,000 to 800,000 in the 10 years to 2022. The U.S. has some 9.6 million RVs on its roads, according to 21RV. Read more of this post

China said consumers will need to bear some of the costs of tighter fuel standards, opening the door to higher prices at fuel pumps

September 23, 2013, 11:15 a.m. ET

China Says Consumers Need to Bear Some Costs of Tighter Fuel Standards

China said consumers will need to bear some of the costs of tighter fuel standards, opening the door to higher prices at fuel pumps.

WAYNE MA

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BEIJING—China said Monday that consumers will need to bear some of the costs of tighter fuel standards, opening the door to higher prices at fuel pumps as the nation balances growing public concern over the environment with worries about inflation. The announcement comes after a number of episodes of severe air pollution in recent months in Beijing and several other places. The government also Monday mapped out plans to combat air pollution, including limiting the number of motor vehicles in Beijing to six million by 2017. In January, the official Xinhua news agency said Beijing had around 5.18 million vehicles. Read more of this post

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