■ China Economy
State control set to slip
Three quarters of China's economy will be non-state-owned by the end of this decade, state media reported yesterday, highlighting a clear trend of slipping state control. The figure is up from last year, when 65 percent of GDP was produced by private or semi-private entities, the China Daily said, quoting an annual report by the country's top think tank. The report was vague about the exact definition of private ownership, not making clear if it included a large gray zone of companies categorized as non-state-owned despite being under varying degrees of government influence.
■ China Economy
Paulson remains upbeat
The US and China differ on how quickly they can resolve their economic disagreements, but not on the general goals, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said yesterday after meeting China's top two leaders. Ending a visit to Beijing that initiated a new high-level dialogue over trade, Paulson said he had discussions on a wide range of issues with Prime Minister Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) and President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). But he declined to say whether talks included tensions over currency reform. "I find it quite encouraging that there are very few differences on the principles" of the issues, Paulson said, without specifically mentioning China's currency. "Where there is discussion is on the timing."
■ Mobile Phones
Motorola installs machines
Shoppers craving the latest Motorola Inc mobile phones and accessories will be able to buy them at automated sales machines being installed in nearly two dozen US malls and airports. The vending machine-like ``Instantmoto'' stores will sell 12 kinds of phones and 18 accessories, said Bob Many, Motorola's director of automated retailing. Shoppers will be able to use credit cards to purchase mid-to high-end models and can buy with or without a service plan for T-Mobile, Verizon and Cingular service. Using a touch-screen, customers can pick a phone's style, color and accessories.
EU to reinforce rice controls
The EU will reinforce controls on US long-grain rice imports, the bloc said on Thursday, after Dutch officials found an unauthorized genetically modified variety in shipments that arrived in the port of Rotterdam last month. The European Commission has alerted officials in Britain, France and Germany that some of the genetically modified long-grain rice may have entered their nations, EU spokesman Philip Tod said. The imports of long-grain rice were certified as genetically unmanipulated, he said. Yet spot checks by Dutch officials found traces of Liberty Link Rice 601, a genetically modified variety developed by Bayer CropScience AG in the US, he said.
Gruma opens Chinese plant
Mexican corn-flour and tortilla maker Gruma SA said on Thursday that it had opened its first production plant in China. In a statement, Gruma said the tortilla factory in Shanghai is its first in Asia. The plant has the capacity to produce 15,000 metric tonnes a year of wheat-flour tortillas, 7,000 metric tonnes of corn-flour tortillas and 6,000 metric tonnes of corn chips. Gruma said it plans to focus on the Chinese market at first, gradually fanning out to serve other regional markets from the Shanghai plant.