Market Competition Calls for Flexible Prices
As the dismantling of the Ministry of Railways made way for the launch of China Railway Corporation, ticket prices have remained a glaring concern. In theory, the establishment of China Railway Corporation does not necessitate a price hike. Instead, market competition should push ticket prices down, and service quality should improve when the monopoly is broken. To reflect and encourage market competition, train ticket prices should become flexible.
(Wang Shichuan, Guangzhou Daily)
McDonalds to Yoshinoya, Who Is Next to Disappoint?
On March 15, World Consumer Rights Day, the global Yoshinoya restaurant chain was exposed for using stale rice and failing to disinfect eating utensils. Similar to last year’s China Central Television expose of the McDonalds practice of selling expired food, Yoshinoya’s story reinforces the position that effective food safety regulation requires random unannounced spot checks which will pressure companies to avoid cutting corners.
(Guo Hua, The Beijing News)
Swine Situation in Shanghai
Starting on March 9, thousands of pig carcasses were found in Huangpu River when Shanghai authorities conducted a thorough upstream inspection of Songjiang and Jinshan sections. By mid-March, about 6,000 dead pigs had been removed from the river. It’s easy to cast blame on ranchers who lack environmental awareness, but inaction from environmental regulators, over-estimations of harmless treatment capacity by the animal husbandry department and other relevant authorities’ indifference towards ranchers’ needs for sanitary disposal all contributed to the severity of this incident.
(Si Xiangke, Xinhuanet.com)
Symington’s Noodles Back to UK
Recently, UK-based food company Symington’s announced it would move its noodle production from China to Yorkshire, UK. As a part of the plan, the company canceled contracts with two Chinese facilities. According to Henrik Pade, Symington’s business development manager, it is now possible to produce noodles for roughly the same cost in Yorkshire as in China. “In the past, production would have been 30-35 percent cheaper in China,” he added. Due to increasing labor costs on the Chinese mainland and the weakening of the pound during the economic recession, outsourcing has become less attractive.