As GlobalPost pointed out in January 2011, China's banking market is hobbled by as much as a trillion dollars worth of "informal" loans, via loan shark lending, shadow banking and off-balance sheet transactions. Some of these loans go to desperate borrowers. Others are designed to circumvent stringent regulations from Beijing. Many originate from wealthy people and businesses looking to earn what may turn out to be a return that's too-good-to-be-true.
Given that little data is available about the borrowers, it's unclear whether this could turn out to be China's version of sub-prime fever.
*Here's what I had to say about this last year.
Chinese are now the world's biggest fans of shopping
A recent Harris Poll found that, compared to eight other developed and developing countries, Chinese shoppers love shopping the most and are second to India when asked if luxury brands are important. This beats out the US, known for its consumer addiction and endless credit card debt, where only one-third of respondents said they enjoyed shopping. Somehow the Chinese, with an average income of about $4,000, love shopping so much they even managed to become Louis Vuitton’s number one customer.
Fujian province has vowed to build “no more nuclear plants," Hong Kong’s Ching Chi Jih Pao economic daily reported. Fujian province governor Huang Xiaojing commented, "Fujian has three nuclear power plants, and that is enough. Projects that have not been completed must not be continued," adding that that it is necessary to make sure the nuclear power plants under construction are absolutely safe. Other projects that "have not been built and whose preliminary work has not been done must not go ahead."*I'm sure with the speed in which Mao Zedong is spinning in his grave right now, China could power itself several times over.
Girl tries to auction virginity for an iPhone
According to the reports of Biznewschina, a female jiulinghou (Chinese teenagers born in the 90’s) tweeted on Weibo, the Chinese counterpart of Twitter, that her dream is “to own an iPhone4 but her father won’t let her get one.” In an attempt to fulfill her wish, she posted a picture of herself and some of her personal info and decided to put on sale her virginity for the most-coveted iPhone 4