15 October 2018

Mark O'Neill

Hong Kong-based writer, teacher and speaker
  • Michigan governor Rick Snyder sees Chinese investments as crucial to Detroit's resurrection. Photo: Bloomberg

    Can the Chinese help save Detroit?

    - May 8, 2014 9:00am
    A real-estate agent in Detroit picked up the telephone and heard an unusual request from a customer in China. “I want to buy 100-200 homes. I have no time to see them. You see them on...
  • Oil giants such as Sinopec are among the biggest recipients of government subsidies in China. Photo: Bloomberg

    The subsidy game at Chinese listed firms

    - Apr 28, 2014 9:43am
    Chinese listed firms received a total of 77 billion yuan (US$12.3 billion) in subsidies last year from different agencies of the government, enabling some loss-making companies to swing to a profit. This was revealed in a...
  • Marijuana consumption in China changed in the 1980s after westerners found it was available in bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Photo: AFP

    Yunnan cannabis: A matter of agriculture or crime?

    - Apr 23, 2014 2:00pm
    Investors with a taste for risk are betting on a new product – the cannabis plant grown in the southwest province of Yunnan. It can produce the marijuana drug or hemp which is refined into oil,...
  • Taiwan activists feel closer economic links with the mainland come at a heavy price. Photo: Reuters

    Mainland integration not benefiting all in Taiwan

    - Apr 9, 2014 8:13am
    When Kuo Hao-yong graduated from National Taiwan University – the most famous in the island – she found a job in a marketing company. She earns NT$25,000 (US$828) a month, of which NT$10,000 goes on rent...
  • Last year

    Xinjiang: land of progress and discontent

    - Apr 7, 2014 9:33am
    This year marks the 60th anniversary of the most successful settlement project of the Communist era – the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (Bingtuan). Established on the orders of Mao Zedong and headed by Wang Zhen,...
  • Most of Ukraine's exports go to states of the former Soviet Union

    Ukraine crisis freezes Chinese projects

    - Apr 2, 2014 10:44am
    In December last year, a Beijing telecoms entrepreneur unveiled a US$10 billion project to build a deep water port, shipyard and other facilities in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. On a visit to China, Ukrainian President Viktor...
  • Taiwanese demonstrators protest against a cross-strait service agreement they say will undermine their democratic way of life and curtail freedom. Photo: AFP

    Taiwan service agreement means winners and losers

    - Mar 31, 2014 8:57am
    Chang Yung-chian founded the Shezidao publishing company in Taipei and has been in the business for nearly 40 years. At its peak, the firm had NT$100 million (US$3.28 million) worth of revenue a year, with three...
  • Taiwanese fear a cross-strait services trade pact will hurt the island's small businesses and endanger local jobs. Photo: Reuters

    Is the China services pact good for Taiwan?

    - Mar 24, 2014 9:26am
    The Taiwan government says its service trade agreement with China will create 12,000 jobs and boost the island’s GDP and industrial competitiveness. Mainland firms investing in Taiwan will be allowed to bring only a maximum of...
  • An artist rendering of the Greenland Centre

    Chinese developers expand abroad and drive wealth migration

    - Mar 19, 2014 8:43am
    On the South Korean island of Jeju, Greenland Group is investing US$984 million in a mixed-use property project, mainly aimed at wealthy Chinese investors wanting to buy a holiday home and residency rights. The 218-meter-high Jeju...
  • Oversubscription by certain doctors has resulted in patients incurring unnecessary medical costs. Photo: Bloomberg

    Attacks on doctors, nurses highlight need for medical reform

    - Mar 13, 2014 11:06am
    On March 5, the day the National People’s Congress (NPC) opened, a crowd of 100 forced a doctor in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, to march through the streets carrying a placard “this doctor killed a patient”. He...
  • A tycoon pays his way out of prison

    - Mar 4, 2014 9:23am
    In 2007, tycoon Zhang Hai was sentenced to 15 years in prison for fabricating financial statements and embezzling 700 million yuan. He left the country after he was released during the Spring Festival in 2011. Now...
  • Chinese immigrants in Canada celebrate the Lunar New Year. Photo: Reuters

    China emigration flood to continue despite Canadian decision

    - Feb 25, 2014 8:30am
    Canada’s sudden decision to cancel its investment migrant program will do nothing to stem the flood of migration of rich and qualified Chinese. Countries around the world are competing to welcome their money and talents. In...
  • Taiwan Predicts 29% More Chinese Tourists In 2011 As Rules Ease

    Taiwan’s debt climbs as rich hide income offshore

    - Feb 20, 2014 8:02am
    Taiwan’s national debt reached a record NT$5.46 trillion (US$180.5 billion) in January, nearly 37 percent of the island’s annual gross domestic product. That was equal to NT$234,000 for each member of the population, compared to NT$197,000...
  • Opinion is divided in Taiwan on more market access for Chinese firms and managers. Photo: Bloomberg

    Taiwanese fear mainland ‘wolves’

    - Feb 13, 2014 10:16am
    One of Taiwan’s most popular business magazines recently had a dramatic cover – a young innocent sheep staring at a wolf with its jaws open and ready to attack. The sheep represents the hapless Taiwan worker...
  • Taiwan's property prices have surged amid hopes the government will soon relax curbs on home purchases by mainlanders. Photo: Bloomberg

    Taiwanese see mainland hand in rising property market

    - Feb 12, 2014 8:18am
    Taiwan’s economy is weak, data published since the start of the year suggests — gross domestic product grew 1.8 percent in 2013, the average monthly pay of workers has declined to a level last seen in...
  • Many companies in Taiwan are reluctant to grant their workers pay increases because of the poor outlook in traditional export markets. Photo: Bloomberg

    Taiwan wages fall to level of 1997

    - Feb 3, 2014 9:12am
    When a South Korean graduates from university, his starting salary is, on average, 2.6 times higher than that of a graduate in Taiwan. The average salary on the island is the same as it was in...
  • Taiwanese welcome Chinese money but have mixed feelings about mainlanders. Photo: Bloomberg

    Taiwan’s economic reality vs popular sentiment

    - Jan 27, 2014 8:58am
    Since Ma Ying-jeou became president of Taiwan in May 2008, he has brought economic and social ties with the mainland closer than at any time since 1949. But, while the island’s economy increasingly depends on China,...
  • French finance minister Pierre Moscovici has said that there are no restrictions on Chinese investment. Photo: Bloomberg

    France uses anniversary to woo Chinese investors

    - Jan 21, 2014 10:42am
    January 27 marks the 50th anniversary of France’s decision to become the first Western power to recognize the People’s Republic of China. Paris is organizing many commemorative events during 2014, aiming to catch up with its...
  • There is good money to be made out of premium quality oranges. Photo: Xinhua

    From tobacco king to emperor of oranges

    - Jan 16, 2014 10:23am
    Fearful of unsafe food and choosy about taste, customers at high-end supermarkets in Beijing and Shanghai have been snapping up a brand of oranges that costs 128 yuan (US$21.17) per five-kilo packet. All of last year’s...
  • Cartons of cigarettes are displayed at a kiosk outside the Beijing West Railway Station in Beijing. China had more than 300 million smokers in 2012. Photo: Bloomberg

    Crisis smoulders in China smoking epidemic

    - Jan 10, 2014 2:11pm
    China cannot breathe easy about smoking. Research published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association said the number of smokers around the world grew by more than a third from 721 million in 1980 to 967...

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