(coco) #1

Culture


Journey to the East


Some of the British Library’s greatest cultural and literary
treasures have travelled to China for a new exhibition at the Na-
tional Library of China in Beijing.
Shakespeare to Sherlock: Treasures of the British Library will run
until June 2017. It is part of a much wider three-year programme of cultural exchange, The British Library in
China: Connecting Through Culture and Learning that has £1.6 million of funding from the UK Govern-
ment.
The current Beijing exhibition features classics of English literature, including Charlotte Brontë’s “fair copy”
manuscript of Jane Eyre and an early edition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Classics that have been turned into Chinese film and TV will also be featured including Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tale The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter and Ian Fleming’s James Bond story
The Living Daylights.
This exhibition and the wider programme are part of deepening cultural ties between the two countries.
In 2012, the British Museum and the National Museum of China co-organised Passion for Porcelain in Bei-
jing. And in March 2017, the two museums also held the A History of the World in 100 Objects exhibition,
which showed 100 items from the British Museum’s collection in China’s capital.


Economy
China Sets Ambitious
Goal in Cloud Computing

The scale of the cloud com-
puting industry is expected to
expand to 430 billion yuan
(US$62.29 billion) by 2019,
making breakthroughs in core
technologies and strengthen-
ing Chinese cloud computing’s
global influence, according
to an action plan for 2017-
2019 issued by the Ministry
of Industry and Information
Technology.
The cloud computing mar-
ket is promising, and in the fu-
ture will be used in all aspects
of life, Li Guangqian, director
of the Information Office of
the Development Research
Centre under the State Coun-
cil, told Economic Daily. How-
ever, Li stressed that China’s
cloud computing technology
is not completely independent,
and there are still many aspects
that need to be improved, such
as operating systems and large-
scale software, as well as secu-
rity and intellectual property
protection.
The action plan also
proposed support for the
development of cloud com-
puting, such as optimising
the investment and financing
environment as well as pro-
moting brand innovation, and
Li warned the government
and the market should pay
attention to competition and
monopolies.
Photos by CNS, CFP

Trade


Brexit Express


The first UK-to-China freight train left the DP World London Gateway Terminal on 10 April to travel
the 7,500 mile journey to Yiwu in Zhejiang Province. It was dubbed the Brexit Express as the departure took
place less than two weeks after the formal triggering of Article 50 under which the UK will leave the European
Union in two years’ time.
“This new rail link with China is another boost for global Britain, following the ancient Silk Road trade route
to carry British products around the world,” said UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Greg Hands.
In January the first direct train from China arrived in London, containing relatively low-value Chinese
products such as clothes, bags and household items.
The China-bound train is taking back items such as whisky, soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and
baby products that will appeal to China’s growing middle class.
As the train is faster than shipping and cheaper than air freight, there are likely to be more such consign-
ments. Land Rover is amongst the UK companies who have shown an interest in using the London-Yiwu
rail route to crack the Chinese market.


Business


Some Like it Hot


China’s economic boom has meant several high-profile acquisitions of foreign businesses. In the UK there
has been a 215 percent increase in Chinese merger and acquisition activity since 2014, according to a new
study from advisory firm Livingstone.
But it doesn’t always work out stunningly when real consumers come into the picture. The Chinese owner
of British iconic cereal brand Weetabix, Bright Foods, is now selling the cereal firm to US company Post
Holdings for £1.4bn.
When Shanghai-based BrightFoods took a majority stake in Weetabix in 2012 the hope was that Chinese
consumers would adapt to cold cereal in preference to the “normal” breakfast of traditional rice, noodles and
steamed bread. Although retail sales of cold cereal in China have almost doubled in the last five years and Chi-
na is now Weetabix’s third-largest market, actual market share with respect to breakfast foods remains small.
Despite the setback, the sale of Weetabix is not the end of international ambitions for Bright Food. “This is
a part of our internationalisation strategy. Selling assets enables us to better expand. Going forward Bright will
stick to our overseas push,” said a spokesman.
Perhaps things would have been different if Bright had found a way to “glocalise” the Weetabix offer for the
Chinese consumer. Hot Weetabix, anyone?