TWS: Sept. 20, 2021

Graph of the Week | Policy

A Walk in the Woods for Climate Change

It’s all hands-on deck for carbon neutrality! In the wake of Beijing’s commitment to peak carbon emissions in 2030 and full carbon neutrality by 2060, policymakers are employing a multipronged approach to meet their climate change goals.

While renewable energy and fossil fuels often sit front-and-center in the carbon neutrality discussion, Beijing also has grand plans for reforestation, like that of Saihanba National Forest Park, where Chairman Xi recently took a relaxing stroll through the woods. Once a barren wasteland due to over-farming, the forest park is a shining example of China’s commitment to “make China green again.”

While reducing fossil fuel usage is critical to lowering future emissions, reforestation is one of the few methods by which Beijing can absorb emissions that are already in the air. Saihanba alone absorbs upwards of 747,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every day. Beijing has plans to further expand national parks to cover 18% of land area by 2025.

Bottom line: China has committed more than US$100 billion to plant trees over the last decade alone. Through the Grain-for-Green campaign, an initiative to swap farmland for forests, China has increased national forest coverage from 20% to 23% since 2004, and it has set a goal of 24.1% by 2025.


Policy

Putting the “Th” in Clean Earth

…and more on China’s campaign for clean energy…

Safer. Cleaner. Cheaper. Those are just a few advantages of China’s new molten salt nuclear reactor (MSR) prototype that government scientists in China will begin testing as early as this month.

An elemental part of what makes China’s MSR so special is that it runs on liquid thorium instead of uranium, and this small difference could be a game-changer in China’s quest to be carbon neutral by 2060. Here are the main benefits of “Th” over “U”:

  • It’s cheaper. Thorium is 3 times more abundant than uranium.
  • “Th” doesn’t require water for cooling, allowing reactors to operate in arid areas.
  • Thorium is up to 200 times more energy dense than uranium.
  • Byproducts of thorium are more easily recycled into other reactions.
  • Byproducts of thorium have a shorter half-life to decay to a non-radioactive state.

Thorium is also less likely to get a “salty” reaction from other nations since it doesn’t come with the threat of nuclear weapons.

Bottom line: If all goes well with the prototype, China’s first commercial reactor in Gansu province could be up and running within the next decade. The success of the prototype could also have knock-on effects for other countries as well – especially those signed onto the Belt and Road Initiative – as China could build up to 30 reactors in those partnered nations in the future


Business | Finance

Tim Hortons Takes a Bite Out of CAC’s Data Requirements

Are you a Chinese business looking to list abroad but worry about running afoul of China’s new cybersecurity laws? Donut despair – Canada’s beloved donut and coffee chain Tim Hortons might’ve found a new solution for your data compliance woes to go along with that sweet tooth of yours.

Remember earlier this summer when China’s Cyber Administration of China (CAC) released a new requirement that all firms with over a million Chinese users’ data gain explicit approval before going public abroad?

Tim Hortons remembers.

To ensure there are only sweet surprises ahead of its SPAC IPO in NYC, Tim Hortons’ China subsidiary THIL plans to open a new jointly owned entity called “NewCo” to house its Chinese consumer data. NewCo may end up being a key ingredient in THIL’s recipe for compliance and securing approval from the CAC.

The glazing on top? By going public via SPAC merger with a US-listed company, THIL may not be subject to the same level of scrutiny by US regulators as other China-based firms. Delicious, precious.

Bottom line: THIL’s plan still isn’t fully cooked and needs to win regulatory approval first. Still, if the new entity passes the CAC’s taste test, Tim Hortons’ tasty new model could catch on faster than its maple-flavored macchiatos – which the company apologized for not introducing sooner. Not bad, eh?


Industry | Technology

How China Leads in Blockchain Innovation for Business

China’s preferential policy has cultivated a hot bed for blockchain innovation. As policymakers name blockchain as a key driver of the nation’s future economy, domestic SMEs and MNCs have the opportunity to scale along with global adoption of this emerging technology behind some of the greatest economic and social innovations of our generation.

Learn more about how China became the leader in blockchain technology in our latest China Insights article:

Full Article

Further Reading

China Business Newsletter

TWS: Oct. 18, 2021

China Business Newsletter

TWS: Oct. 11, 2021

China Business Newsletter

TWS: Oct. 4, 2021

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