22 emerging technologies to watch.
1. A top Chinese virologist warned the country risks economic collapse if local officials continue to try to wipe out all traces of Covid-19, marking the most vocal criticism of China’s so-called Covid Zero approach by one of its own experts. Guan Yi, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong, disparaged China’s effort to eliminate sporadic flareups of the virus through mass testing and lengthy quarantines. In the wide-ranging interview with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Satellite TV, he urged a reality-check on how well an extensive vaccination drive helped the world’s most populous country build immunity to Covid. (via bloomberg.com)
2. China's producer price index hit a record high of 13.5% year-on-year in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday, fueling headwinds to the country's economy as manufacturers continue to grapple with high commodity prices. The rise in factory gate inflation, which was widely expected by economists, passed the September record of 10.7%, the fastest pace since China started providing such data in October 1996. Higher production costs were recorded in 36 of 40 industrial sectors, the same number as in September, the bureau said, citing coal mining, oil and gas, and ferrous metal smelting as some of the fields that were affected. (via asia.nikkei.com)
3. Cash-strapped China Evergrande Group faced a deadline today for making an offshore bond payment, while a credit rating downgrade on another property firm added to mounting concerns about a liquidity squeeze in the sector. Evergrande, the world's most indebted developer, has been stumbling from deadline to deadline in recent weeks as it grapples with more than $300 billion in liabilities, $19 billion of which are international market bonds. The company has not defaulted on any of its offshore debt obligations, but another overdue $148 million bond payment must be made today. There was no word on that payment as of early this afternoon, Asia time. (via asia.nikkei.com)
4. China is three to six months away from launching its third and most modern aircraft carrier, new analysis shows, in what would be a milestone for President Xi Jinping’s effort to project power into the high seas. The Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai has made “steady progress” this year on the vessel, known for now as Type 003, the Center for Strategic and International Studies said in the report dated Tuesday. The center, a Washington-based think tank, added that satellite imagery shows “that the installation of the carrier’s main external components is nearing completion.” (via bloomberg.com, csis.org)