Beijing bails out exporters, but not golf caddies

NPR has an interesting piece on China's recent moves to prop up small coastal export businesses who are hurting with the slowdown in demand from the United States this holiday season:

Official statistics show that thousands of factories in Guangdong province have gone bankrupt this year. In the latest flare-up of unrest, laid off toy factory workers protested in Dongguan on Nov. 25, flipping police cars and smashing company offices.

This has Beijing worried. It has decided to protect exports by increasing export tax rebates and halting the three-year-long appreciation of China's currency against the dollar. And local governments in the delta have used billions of dollars to bail out small and medium enterprises.

China's top economic planner, National Development and Reform Commission Director Zhang Ping, defended the bailouts at a recent press conference.

"Helping these companies get through their current difficulties is entirely necessary and appropriate," Zhang said. "Otherwise, if too many factories go bankrupt, it will lead to many workers losing their jobs, and could increase social tensions and unrest."

On the other hand, Marketwatch reports that the country's growing golf sector was not so lucky:

Mission Hills, the self-proclaimed biggest golf club on Earth and recent host of the World Cup of Golf event, is sacking 2,000 employees, or 20% of its staff, according to a recent Bloomberg news report.

Yes, that's right. A golf course had 10,000 employees. At what point could a golf course be "too big to fail"?

(Hat tip: China Digital Times)


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