The SEC alleges that ChinaCast Education’s former CEO Chan Tze Ngon illicitly transferred $41 million out of the $43.8 million raised from investors to a purported subsidiary in which he secretly held a controlling 50% ownership stake

SEC Charges China-Based Executives With Fraud and Insider Trading

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Washington D.C., Sept. 26, 2013 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the former CEO of an education services provider based in China with stealing tens of millions of dollars from investors in a U.S. public offering, and charged another executive with illegally dumping his stock in the company after he helped steal valuable company assets. The SEC alleges that ChinaCast Education Corporation’s former CEO and chairman of the board Chan Tze Ngon illicitly transferred $41 million out of the $43.8 million raised from investors to a purported subsidiary in which he secretly held a controlling 50 percent ownership stake.  From there, Chan transferred investor funds to another entity outside ChinaCast’s control.  Chan also secretly pledged $30.4 million of ChinaCast’s cash deposits to secure the debts of entities unrelated to ChinaCast.  None of the transactions were disclosed in the periodic and other reports signed by Chan and filed with the SEC. Read more of this post

Scenic World Blue Mountains on their business and what keeps it on track

Family business case study: Scenic World

Success from out of the blue.

Fast facts

Located 1 Violet Street, Katoomba NSW 2780.
History Established in 1945 by Harry Hammon. David Hammon joined the firm in 2006 and became Joint Managing Director with sister Anthea, in 2011.

Converting a disused mining site into a bustling tourist attraction took a lot of foresight in 1945. Today, family-owned Scenic World is staking its claim to being one of Australia’s most popular attractions. Featuring the steepest passenger railway in the world and a glass-bottomed cable car, they know how to capitalise on what the Blue Mountain’s have to offer. David Hammon, Joint Managing Director for the company (with sister, Anthea), enthusiastically spoke with us about being a three-generation family business.

Has being a family business helped with your success?

We’re a third generation family business, so we’ve been running this site for 68 years now. After you’ve been somewhere for that long you get pretty good at it. I also think, as a family business, you tend to be a bit more dynamic and willing to try new things, and because we have that ‘freer’ perspective we can react faster. Our Facebook page is a really good example; we looked around and saw that nobody in our industry was doing it and we were able to react very quickly and gain an advantage. Because we have a flat structure and the board of directors was happy to let us run with it – we were able to set everything up quite fast – and we now have over 300,000 more ‘likes’ than the next best. Read more of this post

China banks face daunting money squeeze

September 26, 2013 9:19 am

China banks face daunting money squeeze

By Henny Sender

Fears banks lack risk management skills for brave new world

The path of financial reform in China is becoming ever more tortuous. Bankers gathered at a Singapore summit last weekend say the next step on the path is interest rate deregulation, which could come in the next 18 months, bringing in its wake myriad headaches both for the banks and for many of their customers. It is a logical next step. By deregulating rates, Beijing hopes to stem the growth of the shadow banking system, which has been largely driven by the desire of those with excess cash to earn more interesting amounts on their savings while borrowers who cannot get loans at the artificially low rates at the banks currently hope to attract funds by paying more for them unofficially. Read more of this post

Mortgage Trouble in Chinese City; Borrowers Walk Away From Homes in Wenzhou

Updated September 26, 2013, 7:42 p.m. ET

Mortgage Trouble in Chinese City

Borrowers Walk Away From Homes in Wenzhou

ESTHER FUNG

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SHANGHAI—Tighter credit and falling housing prices in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou have led to a wave of mortgage defaults and abandoned properties in the city, where persistent property-price drops have flown in the face of a national upturn in prices. Homeowners in the city have abandoned 580 homes and there are another 15 cases of mortgages in default, according to a national state-radio broadcast citing a local official in charge of investigating mortgage defaults. The broadcast, which followed local-media reports of more widespread defaults, didn’t give a timeframe for the cases cited, and the official numbers are hardly staggering. Read more of this post

Building resilience: an introduction to business models

Building resilience: an introduction to business models 

August 06 2013

In today’s business environment it is more important than ever that organisations understand their business model, and are ready to adapt it to counter external threats.

Building resilience: an introduction to business models looks at how business models function and the factors that contribute to their success and failure.  It explores examples of innovative business models disrupting their markets as well as business models which have failed. It also looks at how management accountants can help build business model resilience into strategic planning. Our commercial environment is characterised by rapid change. New technologies are introduced, customer behaviours and desires shift with globalisation, supply and distribution chains mutate. And all at speeds unprecedented in economic history. This means that a business model which worked yesterday could fail tomorrow. With a holistic view of their organisation, management accountants are well placed to understand this link between the business model and commercial success. Read more of this post

Yu Guangyuang, the economist who inspired Deng Xiaoping’s reforms

Yu Guangyuang, the economist who inspired Deng Xiaoping’s reforms

Friday, 27 September, 2013, 12:00am

OBITUARY: Yu Guangyuan 1915-2013

Cary Huang cary.huang@scmp.com

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Yu Guangyuan, a renowned economist who helped late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping launch his market reforms in late 1970s, died yesterday. He was 98. Yu, who also once advised liberal former party chiefs Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang , co-wrote a keynote speech delivered by Deng at a crucial party meeting in 1978. Deng’s speech to the Third Plenum of the Communist Party’s 11th Central Committee that year is seen as heralding the era of market reform and openness. The plenum is now remembered as a watershed in modern Chinese political history. Read more of this post

Successful People Start Before They Think They’re Ready

Successful People Start Before They Think They’re Ready

JAMES CLEARBUFFER SEP. 26, 2013, 8:01 PM 4,442 6

In 1966, a dyslexic sixteen-year-old boy dropped out of school. With the help of a friend, he started a magazine for students and made money by selling advertisements to local businesses. With only a little bit of money to get started, he ran the operation out of the crypt inside a local church. Four years later, he was looking for ways to grow his small magazine and started selling mail order records to the students who bought the magazine. The records sold well enough that he built his first record store the next year. After two years of selling records, he decided to open his own record label and recording studio. Read more of this post

What books do Chinese leaders read? Zeng Guofan, author of “Icy Discernment”

What books do Chinese leaders read?

Thomas Friedman’s 2005 work “The World Is Flat” is the only foreign title on the top 10 list

Friday, 27 September, 2013, 3:17am

Amy Lichunxiao.li@scmp.com

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A top 10 reading list published by the State Organs Work Committee of CPC Central Committee offers a rare glimpse into one of the intellectual pursuits of China’s ruling elite.. The books voted to the top 10 list were chosen from among 103 titles, mostly non-fiction, recommended to party leaders and high government officials by the State Organs Work Committee over the past five years, a Beijing News report revealed on Thursday. The top 10 list is dominated by domestic authors discussing Chinese history, economics and politics. The only book by a foreign author to make the top 10 was American journalist and writer Thomas Friedman’s international bestseller The World Is Flat, A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. Published in 2005, it was ranked seventh. Read more of this post

Two-thirds of doctors experience the emotional, mental and physical exhaustion characteristic of burnout. New research points to mindfulness, the ability to be fully present and attentive in the moment, as a possible remedy

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013, 12:01 AM

Easing Doctor Burnout With Mindfulness

By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D.

According to the nurse’s note, the patient had received a clean bill of health from his regular doctor only a few days before, so I was surprised to see his request for a second opinion. He stared intently at my name badge as I walked into the room, then nodded his head at each syllable of my name as I introduced myself. Shifting his gaze upward to my face, he said, “I’m here, Doc, to make sure I don’t have anything serious. I’m not sure my regular doctor was listening to everything I was trying to tell him.” I smiled. To hide my embarrassment. I had walked into the exam room to listen to this patient; but my mind was a few steps behind, as I struggled with thoughts about the colleague who’d just snapped at me over the phone because she was in no mood to get another new consult, my mounting piles of unfinished paperwork, and the young patient with widespread cancer whom I’d seen earlier in the day. Thoughts about my new patient jumbled in the mix, too, but they came into focus only after I had pushed away the fears that I might have neglected to order a key test on my last patient, that I’d forgotten to call another patient and that I was already running behind schedule. That relentless inner conversation came to mind this past week when I read two studies on physician burnout and mindfulness in the current issue of The Annals of Family Medicine. Read more of this post

Wharton Applications Drop 12% Over Four Years; Business-School Experts and Students Say School Has Lost Its Luster

September 26, 2013, 7:39 p.m. ET

Wharton Applications Drop 12% Over Four Years

Business-School Experts and Students Say School Has Lost Its Luster

MELISSA KORN

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Something at Wharton doesn’t add up. Applications to the University of Pennsylvania’s business school have declined 12% in the past four years, with the M.B.A. program receiving just 6,036 submissions for the class that started this fall. That was fewer than Stanford Graduate School of Business, with a class half Wharton’s size. Wharton says the decline, combined with a stronger applicant pool and a higher percentage of accepted applicants who enroll, proves that the school is doing a better job targeting candidates. Read more of this post

Knowledge of Chinese Language Is Strategic Skill: Italian Experts

Knowledge of Chinese Language Is Strategic Skill: Italian Experts

2013-09-27 05:11:59 GMT2013-09-27 13:11:59(Beijing Time)  CRIENGLISH

In the globalized world, the knowledge of China’s language and culture is an increasingly important skill, Italian experts said on Thursday. Speaking at a conference in Milan, president of Italy China Foundation Cesare Romiti said that “expertise in China and its market has become fundamental.” Romiti, an economist and former executive of both state-owned firms and private companies, was among the first personalities in Italy to strengthen ties with China 10 years ago, when he founded the association to promote business and cultural links between the two countries. Read more of this post

Why Tech Geeks Adore Sonic.net

Why Tech Geeks Adore Sonic.net

By Brendan Greeley September 26, 2013

Dane Jasper reaches between the seats of his Tesla (TSLA) and pulls out an AT&T (T) mailer offering broadband service for $20 a month. “Turn it over and look at the fine print,” he says. The $20 price is a one-year teaser rate. A $99 installation fee may apply. A $180 early termination fee definitely will. AT&T caps the plan at 250 gigabytes of data per month, and it doesn’t run faster than 0.8 megabits per second, less than one-fourth as fast as the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of broadband. Read more of this post

When Google Brainstorms, Online World Shudders; Google Is Considering Using a ‘Super Cookie’ to Track Browsing Habits

September 26, 2013, 7:23 p.m. ET

When Google Brainstorms, Online World Shudders

Google Is Considering Using a ‘Super Cookie’ to Track Browsing Habits

JOHN BUSSEY

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Is Google GOOG +0.11% about to do to online privacy what body scanners did to airline travelers? It might seem that way given the reaction to a bit of news that, intentionally or not, leaked out of Google last week. Google is considering using anonymous identifiers to track consumers’ browsing habits online. This technology could eventually take the place of the controversial “cookies” that marketing outfits now plant on our computers to track where we go on the Web and then pitch us related products. Read more of this post

What’s Behind Apple’s Epic Memory Markup; Apple’s iPhone customers haven’t benefited from the plunge in memory prices over the past four years

What’s Behind Apple’s Epic Memory Markup

By Adam Satariano and Ian King September 26, 2013

While all those new iPhone sales send Apple’s (AAPL) profit forecasts sailing past previous estimates, one big reason isn’t getting much attention: The company charges four times the going rate for extra file-storage space. As with previous models, Apple is asking for an additional $100 to double the storage memory on the iPhone 5s and 5c, and $200 to quadruple it to 64 gigabytes on the 5s. A similar 64GB memory chip for phones running Google’s(GOOG) Android operating system sells for about $50 on Amazon.com (AMZN). While the cost of smartphone memory has fallen 71 percent in the last four years—to about 60¢ per gigabyte, according to researcher IHS iSuppli—“Apple has never followed the trend in passing along the savings,” says IHS analyst Michael Yang. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris declined to comment. Read more of this post

StumbleUpon’s Mobile Ad Breakthrough

StumbleUpon’s Mobile Ad Breakthrough

By Douglas MacMillan September 26, 2013

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For Internet content providers, figuring out mobile advertising is the next great digital puzzle. From Google (GOOG)and Facebook (FB) to the New York Times, companies are struggling to devise new smartphone and tablet ads that strike advertisers as more effective than clunky banner displays and don’t alienate users. A solution may have arrived via an unexpected source: a 12-year-old, nearly forgotten aggregator of links. Read more of this post

Rogers unveils Netflix-like all-in-one digital magazine subscription service

Rogers unveils Netflix-like all-in-one digital magazine subscription service

Christine Dobby | 26/09/13 | Last Updated: 26/09/13 5:02 PM ET
More from Christine Dobby | @christinedobby

TORONTO – Rogers Communications Inc. hopes that bringing a reader-friendly digital magazine subscription service previously only available in the United States to Canada will help cement its status as this country’s “dominant publisher.” The media division of the Toronto-based communications company said Thursday it has struck a partnership with Next Issue Media, a joint-venture of five major U.S. publishers. Read more of this post

Robots are the Next Big Thing in Telepresence

September 26, 2013, 3:07 PM ET

Robots are the Next Big Thing in Telepresence

By Steve Rosenbush

Deputy Editor

The latest thing in corporate videoconferencing isn’t the grand “telepresence room” with wall-to-ceiling high-definition monitors and leather chairs arranged around a walnut table that’s as long as an airport runway. It’s more like a Segway with an iPad stuck on top. A cheaper, more intimate and mobile form of telepresence, or what used to be known as videoconferencing, is entering the business world. In this latest version of the video call, a motorized, remote-controlled platform several feet high is outfitted with a monitor and camera. The devices are equipped with video conferencing and navigation software, and when connected to the Internet, they allow people to have face-to-face video contact with someone in a distant location, moving freely about the remote environment with the device functioning as their physical double. Read more of this post

Abbott Labs’ Dissolving Heart Stent Helps Improve Recovery

Abbott Labs’ Dissolving Heart Stent Helps Improve Recovery

By Michelle Fay Cortez September 26, 2013

Innovator: John Capek
Age: 51
Title: Executive vice president, medical devices, Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

Form and function: A stent the size of a ballpoint pen’s spring, delicate enough to hold a cardiac artery open after surgery. It dissolves in the body, enabling more natural recovery without the threat of long-term damage from a standard metal stent.

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Shanghai’s new zone: lots of hype, little detail

September 26, 2013 10:58 am

Shanghai’s new zone: lots of hype, little detail

By Simon Rabinovitch in Shanghai

The anticipation for China’s new free trade zone, set to be launched this weekend, is at fever pitch. Homes next to the zone in Shanghai’s far-flung suburbs are sold out. The stocks of companies expected to benefit have surged, some rising by more than 300 per cent over the past month. Economists have hailed it as China’s most significant reform push in more than a decade. Read more of this post

Shanghai Free-Trade Zone Splits Analysts on Benefits to Economy

Shanghai Free-Trade Zone Splits Analysts on Benefits to Economy

By Bloomberg News  Sep 25, 2013

China’s plan to set up a test zone in Shanghai with reduced state control over policies from interest rates to foreign investment has split analysts over whether it will boost the economy across the nation. Eight of 17 respondents to a Bloomberg News survey said the so-called free trade zone will have no effect or a negligible impact on growth, while eight said it will boost annual expansion by 0.1 percentage point to 0.5 point over the next five years. One economist in the survey, conducted from Sept. 18 through yesterday, said growth would increase by 0.5 point to 0.9 point. Read more of this post

Shandong Shipyard’s Lesson: Don’t Rock a Bank; A shipbuilder stung by European clients has spent years fighting a major bank, so far in vain

09.26.2013 19:33

Shandong Shipyard’s Lesson: Don’t Rock a Bank

A shipbuilder stung by European clients has spent years fighting a major bank, so far in vain

By staff reporters Pang Jiaoming and Wu Jing

(Beijing) — What was initially billed as a lucrative order from a European customer has pushed a Shandong Province shipbuilding company to the brink of bankruptcy and ruined its relationship with one of China’s biggest banks. Rushan City Shipbuilding Co. is fighting for survival after filing a lawsuit recently against the Rushan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) – the latest in a series of ugly legal battles involving the bank and shipping companies that began in 2010. Read more of this post

Population Control Is Called Big Revenue Source in China; Nineteen province-level governments in China collected a total of $2.7 billion in fines last year from parents who had violated family planning laws

September 26, 2013

Population Control Is Called Big Revenue Source in China

By EDWARD WONG

BEIJING — Nineteen province-level governments in China collected a total of $2.7 billion in fines last year from parents who had violated family planning laws, which usually limit couples to one child, a lawyer who had requested the data said Thursday. The lawyer, Wu Youshui of Zhejiang Province, sent letters in July to 31 provincial governments asking officials to disclose how much they had collected in 2012 in family planning fines, referred to as “social support fees.” He said he suspected that the fines were a substantial source of revenue for governments in poor parts of China. Read more of this post

NDRC Lets Firms Pay for Shantytown Work with Bonds

09.26.2013 14:53

NDRC Lets Firms Pay for Shantytown Work with Bonds

Cabinet says companies can pay up to 70 percent of the costs for the renovations through debt financing

By staff reporter Yang Na

(Beijing) – The government’s top planning agency beefed up financing for companies involved in rebuilding shantytowns by allowing them to cover nearly three-quarters of the cost via bonds. Rebuilding shantytowns is a major part of the government’s urbanization plans. A notice published on the website of National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on September 25 said that companies involved in shantytown projects can issue corporate bonds. Read more of this post

How Jack Ma can keep a tight grip on Alibaba after an IPO

Updated: Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 8:57:43 AM

How Jack Ma can keep a tight grip on Alibaba after an IPO

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd founder Jack Ma wants to keep a tight grip on the Chinese e-commerce company he founded even after he takes it public, and U.S. law gives him several ways to do so. The company had planned to list in Hong Kong, but the exchange there threw cold water on Ma’s plan to give Alibaba’s insiders, who only own about 10 percent of the stock, the power to nominate a majority of the board, sources say. Regulators in the Chinese territory said that all shareholders must be treated equally. Read more of this post

Chinese TV show “Legend of Zhen Huan” gets ready for US market

Chinese TV show gets ready for US market

(CNTV)    12:42, September 23, 2013

The “Legend of Zhen Huan”, a Chinese TV drama which depicts the power strugglebetween the concubines of an emperor, has already been a success in Asian countries. Now,it’s about to land in the US, a positive sign that Chinese TV is increasingly ready to moveinto the international arena. The desperate housewives are about to get some competition from the “desperateconcubines”. As the most popular Chinese TV series of 2012, the Legend of Zhen Huan has charmedboth domestic and foreign viewers. The “Legend of Zhen Huan”, a Chinese TV drama which depicts the power struggle between the concubines of an emperor, has already been a success in Asian countries. Read more of this post

China: Culture crash; Apollo Tyres’ $2.5bn bid for Cooper Tire is being held back by an unusual obstacle

September 26, 2013 6:35 pm

China: Culture crash

By Tom Mitchell, James Crabtree and Robert Wright

Apollo Tyres’ $2.5bn bid for Cooper Tire is being held back by an unusual obstacle

The Cooper Chengshan Tire factory in eastern China has the feel of a place that is slowly coming back to life after a long siege. Three months after the factory’s 5,000-strong workforce first downed tools to protest about the proposed acquisition of their US parent by an Indian rival, employees in dark blue uniforms go about their tasks. But evidence of their continuing industrial action is festooned across the compound. Read more of this post

China state sector a honey pot for corrupt officials

China state sector a honey pot for corrupt officials

Filed 10 hours ago

By Charlie Zhu

HONG KONG – In March last year, after getting government approval to go ahead with a $900 million refinery expansion in China’s southeastern Fujian province, state-run oil giant Sinopec Corp warned the team handling the project against taking bribes. “Project engineering and construction has been a main area for corruption at Sinopec,” the Fujian unit of Asia’s largest refiner said in a blunt memo, according to a Sinopec source who read it to Reuters. “All members, especially those in key posts, must treasure their positions, stay guarded and resist temptation.” Read more of this post

China Seeks to Repeat Deng’s Shenzhen Success in Shanghai Zone

China Seeks to Repeat Deng’s Shenzhen Success in Shanghai Zone

Three decades after Deng Xiaoping’s experiments with capitalism in the southern city of Shenzhen began lifting millions from poverty, his successors are applying that same strategy to the tougher task of making China rich. Playing the role of Shenzhen is 11 square miles of low-rise office buildings, white warehouses and concrete parking lots on the outskirts of Shanghai. The zone, set to open in two days, will test policies that reduce state controls on interest rates, the currency and investment. By giving markets and the private sector a bigger economic role, China may become a high-income nation by 2030, according to the World Bank. Read more of this post

China policy bank sells first asset-backed securities to strong demand; 32 billion yuan in securitised products were outstanding end June; 4.2 trillion yuan in trust loans are often packaged into wealth management products

China policy bank sells first asset-backed securities to strong demand

Wed, Sep 25 2013

SHANGHAI, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Agricultural Development Bank of China completed its first-ever sale of asset-backed securities (ABS) on Wednesday, as regulators push securitisation as a tool to enable banks to support the economy with new credit. ADB, one of China’s three policy banks devoted to non-commercial lending, sold 1.27 billion yuan ($207.5 million) worth of ABS, with each of the three tranches attracting strong demand from investors, official media reported on Thursday. Read more of this post

LM boss Peter Drake’s assets frozen; Latest blow for embattled Gold Coast businessman Peter Drake in the investigation into the collapse of his LM Investment Management empire

LM boss Peter Drake’s assets frozen

September 27, 2013 – 5:22PM

Georgia Wilkins

Slim pickings for LM investors

Embattled Gold Coast businessman Peter Drake has had his passport revoked and assets frozen during an ongoing investigation into the collapse of his LM Investment Management empire. The Supreme Court of Queensland ordered Mr Drake to surrender his passport on Friday, following an application by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. The court orders also prevent Mr Drake from selling any assets he holds, excluding his Mermaid Beach, Queensland home, which is expected to be sold this weekend, the regulator said. Read more of this post

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