China Insights provides you with actionable analysis about market- and industry-moving policy developments in the world’s second largest economy.

Delivered monthly by our lead China analyst, Jens Presthus, the note provides:

  • Short, succinct and engaging analysis that cuts through market noise – focusing on the developments that really matter.
  • Analysis that not just outline the content of new policies – be it industrial, monetary, technology or trade policy – but also explain what they mean for both Chinese and foreign corporates, investors and organisations.
  • The occasional critical take on media-friendly policy announcements, explaining which ones that matter and which ones that don’t.

Recent Issues

Policymakers caution about China’s economic outlook despite upbeat data

May 2023

Chinese stakeholders across business, finance and politics remain unconvinced about the strength of the country’s economic recovery. The Politburo highlighted that improvement is mainly “restorative”, and that weak internal dynamics persist.

A slow and uneven recovery prompts spending boom by local governments

April 2023

China’s economic recovery is off to a slow start, with households saving even more this year than they did in 2022. The chorus calling for direct household support has therefore grown louder and wider.

What we learned from the National People's Congress

March 2023

The main takeaways from this year's National People's Congress: expect a more assertive China on the global stage, but don't count on a 'pivot' on economic policy.

Initial takeaways from the National People's Congress

March 2023

As we wait for updates about China’s new leadership team and reform of the party-state structure, here are some initial observations about this year’s big gathering and the various work reports that have been presented.

Beijing wants to charm the world, just not the US, EU, and their allies

February 2023

The CPC's top diplomat did not misread the room when he criticised the US at the Munich Security Conference. It is more likely that Wang Yi was speaking to an audience that was not present, pitching the CPC’s alternative to the US-led world order.

RMB internationalisation: 12 months after America weaponised the dollar

February 2023

Unprecedented weaponisation of the dollar following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not kickstarted a shift away from the USD to an alternative currency, such as the RMB.

Policy priorities for 2023: revive the consumer and appease the investor

December 2022

Ending zero covid represents an obvious tailwind for China’s economy in 2023.

Zero covid, real estate and US-China: the three pivots that never were

November 2022

Policymakers are trying to avoid a property market collapse, but there is nothing which suggests Xi is backtracking on reform.

China’s prolonged downturn is revealing where the skeletons are buried

October 2022

A growing number of financially “healthy” real estate developers are failing to make debt payments. This has come as a shock to some, even though there have been plenty of warning signs.

China’s ever-widening trade surplus, a bad sign for the economic recovery

July 2022

China’s trade surplus widened to almost $100 bn in June, a new record.

Zero covid and the hibernating consumer

June 2022

The Chinese consumer does not believe that the worst is over, prioritising food and energy over cars and smartphones.

The war in Ukraine through the eyes of Beijing, and what it all means for Taiwan

May 2022

Reunification with Taiwan is a key element of President Xi Jinping’s “rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”.

Fiscal support to secure 5.5% growth, but real estate held back by weak demand

April 2022

2022 has been a challenging year for Beijing.

Outcomes of the NPC: postponed reforms and policymakers in crisis mode

March 2022

Protecting national security and meeting basic energy and food needs took centre stage at this year’s annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.

The PBoC's dilemma: supporting growth without triggering capital outflows

February 2022

As the pandemic rebound fades and the economic outlook worsen, policymakers in Beijing are debating how to make sure growth does not fall below 5%.

The state advances while the private sector retreats

January 2022

Why the state’s role in China’s economy is rapidly increasing.