Media Focus on Multinational Corporations [2023.03.27]





China Mobile

China Mobile unveils 6G white book with global partners

China Mobile has partnered with dozens of global telecom operators and equipment makers to unveil the latest white book on 6G requirements and design considerations.

The move is part of broader push by China Mobile to have a bigger say in drafting the future global standards for 6G.

The white book on 6G requirements and design considerations was officially unveiled by Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, a global association of telecom operators, last month.

The white book detailed the evolution path requirements to achieve digital inclusion, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability and flexible deployment, as well as new capability requirements for future use cases, and proposed 6G system architecture and design considerations.


Huawei's chip software heralds breakthrough

Huawei Technologies Co said it has developed electronic design automation or EDA tools for chips above 14 nanometers by partnering with domestic companies, marking a crucial breakthrough for China's semiconductor industry amid US government restrictions.

Dubbed the 'cradle' of integrated circuits, EDA is a software widely used in the sector and is of great importance to the entire process of designing chips.

Xu Zhijun, rotating chairman of Huawei, said the company has completed the localization of EDA tools for chips above 14nm by teaming up with domestic partners and will complete comprehensive verification this year.

Huawei confirmed to China Daily on Friday that Xu made the remarks in a meeting in late February.

China has long relied on US companies such as Cadence and Synopsys for EDA tools. The EDA tools for 14 nm chips are considered midrange products but it still marks a breakthrough, experts said.


China opposes US' pressure to sell TikTok stakes

China strongly opposes the United States government's reported move to force TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance to sell its stakes in the popular video-sharing app, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

Shu Jueting, a spokeswoman of the ministry, told a news conference that China has noticed media reports saying the US is pursuing such a move, and if the news reports turn out to be true, the US decision would be based on TikTok's foreign ownership, rather than its products and services, which will severely damage confidence of foreign investors, including those from China.

The stake selling of or split from the Chinese parent company involves technology export and must follow Chinese laws and regulations to proceed for an administrative approval, upon which the Chinese government will make decision in accordance with the law, Shu said.


Twitter: Parts of its source code leaked online

NEW YORK -- Some parts of Twitter's source code — the fundamental computer code on which the social network runs — were leaked online, the social media company said in a legal filing on Sunday that was first reported by The New York Times.

According to the legal document, filed with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, Twitter had asked GitHub, an internet hosting service for software development, to take down the code where it was posted. The platform complied and said the content had been disabled, according to the filing. Twitter also asked the court to identify the alleged infringer or infringers who posted Twitters source code on systems operated by GitHub without Twitters authorization.

Twitter, based in San Francisco, noted in the filing that the postings infringe copyrights held by Twitter.

The leak creates more challenges for billionaire Elon Musk, who bought Twitter last October for $44 billion and took the company private. Since then, it has been engulfed in chaos, with massive layoffs and advertisers fleeing.

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is probing Musks mass layoffs at Twitter and trying to obtain his internal communications as part of ongoing oversight into the social media companys privacy and cybersecurity practices, according to documents described in a congressional report.


Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Beijing

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, made a visit to the company's Apple Store in Sanlitun, Beijing on Friday, kicking off the senior executive's first trip to China in three years.

The trip highlighted Apple's emphasis on China, which is not only an important market, but also a key part of its supply chains and a major source of innovation for the company.

During the trip, Cook is scheduled to attend the China Development Forum during the upcoming weekend.

According to Apple, there are more than 5 million registered Chinese mobile app developers within its iPhone ecosystem.

Cook said in an online interview with China Daily last year that China has one of the most vibrant developer communities in the world, and the creativity and passion of the nation's developers for using technology to enrich people's lives is deeply impressive.

Two apps developed by Chinese teams have won Apple Inc's 2022 App Store Awards, showcasing the innovation capabilities of local developers.


Qualcomm committed to building new ties in China

Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm Inc, said the US semiconductor company is committed to building new partnerships in China, on the basis of its nearly three-decade history in the country.

Amon made the comments at a forum of the Economic Summit of China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday.

Amon said 'Qualcomm has a long history in China that spans nearly three decades. We are proud of the deep relationships we have built over the past 30 years, and the new partnerships we are building today.'

According to him, by providing technologies and semiconductors for wireless communications, advanced and power-efficient computing, and edge artificial intelligence, Qualcomm has worked closely with companies across industries and around the world – including in China – to innovate, advance the development of society, and drive economic growth.

'One of the most significant trends to have emerged in recent years is digital transformation. It has quickly become a strategic imperative for sustainable growth and innovation, unlocking greater operational efficiencies, increasing productivity, and enabling new business models and revenue streams – even in the current macro-economic climate,' Amon said.

The rapid rise of digital transformation has made it a powerful engine for economic growth. The World Economic Forum estimates that more than 60 percent of 2022 global GDP depended on digital technologies.

'This transformation will require everyone and everything to be intelligently connected. This means ultra-fast and reliable connectivity to the cloud 100 percent of the time, and embedded processing and AI across an array of devices, as well as the proliferation of digital twins,' Amon added.


Sinopharm partners with Elekta to bring radiation therapy across China

China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp (Sinopharm), the State-owned healthcare group, signed an agreement with Elekta, the Swedish medical equipment producer, to establish a joint venture to manufacture radiotherapy equipment in China.

They said the joint venture will help increase the adoption of radiation therapy in China's lower-tier cities, where around 70 percent of the population resides. They will announce the location for this joint venture in the coming months.

Addressing a signing ceremony in Beijing last week, Liu Jingzhen, board chairman of Sinopharm, said this move is a practical measure for Sinopharm to develop the Healthy China 2030 strategy and respond to the government's call to create a world-class enterprise.

It has symbolic significance in introducing global high-end medical equipment and improving China's level of intelligent radiotherapy, Liu added.

Sinopharm covers all aspects of healthcare, not only pharmaceuticals, but also research and development, manufacturing, logistics and distribution.

Through the joint venture agreement, Elekta will improve access to over 1,000 medical institutions in small cities within Sinopharm's service network, according to Gustaf Salford, Elekta's CEO.

The collaboration with Sinopharm will help ensure that people in China will have access to the same high-quality precision radiation therapy, regardless of where they live, said Gong Anming, Elekta's executive vice-president.


Custom Nvidia chip boosts China's AI push

Nvidia, a US-based artificial intelligence chip company, said it has developed a customized version of its flagship product that it can legally export to China amid the US government restrictions.

The move, which showcases the importance of the Chinese market to Nvidia, will enable Chinese companies to access AI chips that are crucial to the development of generative AI technologies like OpenAI's ChatGPT and similar products.

Nvidia's move follows rules put in place by the US government last year stopping Nvidia from selling its two most advanced chips, the A100 and the newer H100, to Chinese customers due to alleged national security concerns.

Nvidia said on Tuesday that it has developed a China-export version of its H100 chip while complying with the US government's restrictions on the country. It did not elaborate on the finer details of customization that it said enables exports to China in spite of US curbs.

The new chip, called the H800, is being used by the cloud computing units of Chinese internet companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, said many of the young startups that have been building large language models, are jumping on the generative AI bandwagon. Such firms can look up to Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu that have excellent cloud capabilities thanks to Nvidia's AI.

The H800 is part of Nvidia's plan to supply alternative products to the Chinese market while complying with the US government's export controls on the country.

Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco inks 80-billion yuan petrochemical cooperation with China

Saudi Aramco has confirmed its investment in a major petrochemical project in Liaoning province, as announced by Amin Nasser, the President and CEO of the company.

During the China Development Forum on March 26, Nasser stated, 'Today we are signing definitive agreements with North Huajin Chemical and Panjin Xincheng to begin construction on a state-of-the-art integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Liaoning province.'

The project, valued at over 83.7 billion yuan, will be a joint effort between Huajin Chemical Industries, Saudi Aramco, and Panjin Xincheng, and is located in the Liaobin Coastal Economic and Technological Development Zone in Panjin city, Liaoning province.

'In particular, we see a major win-win opportunity to build a world-leading, integrated downstream sector in China, with a special emphasis on the high conversion of liquids directly into chemicals as part of our broader liquid-to-chemicals business expansion plans,' said Nasser.

The project was launched in March 2011 and was designated a key project for the revitalization of Northeast China in 2014 by the State Council.

Li Lecheng, the governor of Liaoning province, described the project as a major and strategic move for mutual benefit and win-win for both countries.

The Panjin municipal government has formed a dedicated project team to provide comprehensive support in planning, resource allocation, public utilities, supporting facilities, and office locations.

Liu Shiquan, Chairman of China North Industries Group Corporation, hopes to build the project into a landmark project of the Belt and Road Initiative construction and a model project of comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia.

According to the Liaoning Provincial Department of Commerce, Liaoning province has attracted over 16,000 foreign-invested enterprises, including BMW and Michelin, ranking eighth in the country. As part of its efforts to further strengthen its opening-up, Liaoning province has been fully leveraging its advantages in location and geopolitics, deeply integrating into the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and striving to create a new frontier for opening up to the outside world.

Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco affirms support for China's energy security

Saudi Aramco aims to expand its oil production capacity by a million barrels per day to 13 million barrels by 2027 and increase gas production by more than 50 percent by 2030 to strengthen China's long-term energy security, said Amin H. Nasser, the president and CEO of the state-owned oil company said.

The company is also determined to further reduce the low carbon intensity of oil production, as well as methane intensity, while working on solutions such as advanced carbon capture and storage, together with circular carbon economy technologies, to support China's energy and development priorities, he said during the China Development Forum held in Beijing on Sunday.

'China's venture capital space offers important investment opportunities to stimulate the technology development and innovation required,' he said.

'We recently launched a one-and-a-half billion-dollar venture capital sustainability fund to invest in advanced technologies that will help all of us move closer to a net-zero emissions future. All these initiatives can help China meet its emissions reduction goals.'

According to Nasser, the company is partnering with Baosteel to produce steel plates in Saudi Arabia with a lower carbon footprint as reducing emissions from hard-to-abate sectors like steel and aluminum, cement and concrete is essential to China's high-quality development.

'This is a great example of the multiple and highly attractive opportunities for Chinese companies in the kingdom in a variety of energy and non-energy areas,' he said.

'More broadly, we are developing advanced, more sustainable materials such as those based on polymers and carbon to complement conventional ones, while reducing their high cost.'


ConocoPhillips details gas leak cause, remedies at hearing

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- ConocoPhillips, which last week received U.S. government approval for the massive Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, detailed reasons for a natural gas leak at another North Slope field that prompted the evacuation of 300 employees last year.

Officials with the company said that pumping 170 barrels (27,028 litres) of diesel fuel, a freeze-prevention fluid, into a disposal well caused a component to fail and led to the subsequent leak, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

ConocoPhillips officials spoke Thursday at an Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing in Anchorage about the 2022 leak at the Alpine field in northern Alaska. Delayed recognition allowed the leak to continue for days, and the company had not anticipated the shallow underground zone to contain significant amounts of gas.

Erica Livingston, a wells chief engineer for ConocoPhillips Alaska, said the well design has been used many times previously without issues. However, it was not cemented in the area of the zone where the leak occurred because that area was not expected to have gas.

Cementing the well in that area, located about a half mile underground, would have prevented the leak, she said. No gas was detected beyond the drilling site, and no one was harmed by the gas, Livingston said.

The leak at the CD1 drill site began Feb. 27, 2022 but wasn’t detected until March 4, 2022. During that time, 7.2 million cubic feet (203,881 cubic meters) of natural gas was released before they were able to capture it.

About 300 personnel were evacuated from the site, which caused concern in the nearby village of Nuiqsut and an investigation by the commission, which oversees oil field operations in Alaska.

Livingston said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating. She called the incident a “significant event” that became a learning opportunity for the company.

ConocoPhillips, the largest oil producer in Alaska, said the company has increased monitoring of pressure at wells and outlined pressure limits and solutions when those are exceeded.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, the mayor of Nuiqsut, a community 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the drill site, was one of two members of the public who testified by phone during the hearing.

She said residents hope to learn more about the leak in order to prevent future incidents, especially since Willow will be located about 35 miles (56 meters) west of Nuiqsut. Ahtuangaruak has been vocal in her opposition to the Willow project.

“This event gave our community members much concern,” she said. “We want to fully understand to prevent this from happening at the new development that will be nearby our community.”

Commission chairperson Brett Huber said the commission will prepare a final report that could include enforcement measures. No timeline for the report’s release was given, and Huber declined to answer questions until it is made public.


Shell Meeting its Energy Transition Targets

Shell has continued to make progress towards becoming a net-zero company, according to its latest Energy Transition Progress Report 2022. The company noted in its statement that it has again met its climate targets as part of its energy transition strategy.

“In this report, we show the progress we have made towards becoming a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, as we continue to supply the vital energy the world needs during a time of great volatility,' said Wael Sawan, Shell's Chief Executive Officer. 'I am especially proud of the progress we have made in reducing carbon emissions from our operations, with a 30 percent reduction by the end of 2022 compared with 2016 on a net basis.'

By the end of 2022, the net carbon intensity of the energy products sold by Shell had also fallen by 3.8 percent, compared with 2016, the company’s statement reads. Shell’s analysis, using data from the International Energy Agency, shows the net carbon intensity of the global energy system fell by around 2 percent over that time.

On its energy transition strategy path, Shell has significantly invested in LNG, which the company expects to remain an important part of the energy mix for many years to come, partly because of its role in reducing emissions from power generation and transport.

Other steps include Shell's $1.6 billion investment in Indian renewable power developer Sprng Energy, and the final investment decision on the Holland Hydrogen 1 project in the Netherlands, which will be Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant, the statement reads.

In 2022, Shell also acquired Denmark's Nature Energy, which produces renewable natural gas, for around $2 billion. This deal was completed at the beginning of 2023, the company reminded.

Shell also increased the number of electric vehicle charge points it owned or operated worldwide by 62 percent to around 139,000 in 2022, up from 86,000 the previous year.

“We believe the progress we have made in line with our energy transition strategy has been to the benefit of our customers, our shareholders and wider society,” said Andrew Mackenzie, Shell Chair.

This progress comes at a time when the energy system still faces challenges as high energy prices continue to contribute to a cost-of-living crisis for many people. These challenges have highlighted the need for a balanced energy transition: one in which the world achieves net-zero emissions, while still providing a secure and affordable supply of energy, Shell’s statement reads.


Shell finalises sale of offshore Malaysian assets

Shell has completed the sale of two offshore oil and gas concessions in Malaysia’s Baram Delta, the London-headquartered energy giant announced on Wednesday.

Divestments include a 40% interest in the Amended 2011 Baram Delta EOR PSC and 50% interest in the SK 307 PSC.

The Amended 2011 Baram Delta EOR PSC was signed in 2016 and consists of the Bokor, Baronia, Fairley Baram, Bakau and Siwa oil fields and Tukau Timur and Baronia gasfields.

The SK 307 PSC was signed in 1997 and contains the producing Baronia Barat oilfield.

The shares have been acquired by Petroleum Sarawak Exploration & Production, which is a fully owned subsidiary of Petroleum Sarawak, the state of Sarawak’s oil and gas company.

The remaining stakes in both fields are held by Petronas Carigali.

The sale follows regulatory approval by the Malaysian authorities.

The deal was first announced in December 2022.

Exxon Mobil

Chad nationalizes assets by oil giant Exxon, says government

Chad is nationalizing all assets from multinational oil giant Exxon Mobil, including its hydrocarbon and exploration permits, said the government.

″The finance and budget minister must make sure the said decree is implemented from the date of its publishing,' said Haliki Choua Mahamat the government's general secretary on state media.

The nationalization of a private company means that all assets are now owned by the government. While this used to happen in the 1960s and 1970s, it hasn't happened recently and doesn't conform to usual legal frameworks in the sector, say energy experts.

Chad began producing oil in 2003 and Exxon has been operating in the country for several decades. It was running the Doba oil project in Chad.

The move could scare away investors from West Africa at a time of growing global energy demand and a decline in foreign investments in the region, said Olufola Wusu, a partner and head of the oil and gas desk at Megathos Law Practice based in Nigeria.

“Expropriation of any sort without compensation is not a step in the right direction, because it is going to erode investor confidence in that particular country and once investors are jittery, they pull back their investment, so regulators and leaders in Africa need to play by the rules,” he said.

The government’s decision came after a long dispute between Exxon and Chad, which rejected the sale of the company’s operations last year.

Tensions have risen in the West African nation in recent months with unprecedented protests mounting against the government of President Mahamat Idriss Deby.

Deby was declared the head of state after his father’s death in April 2021. The son's succession did not follow Chad's constitutional line of succession. Opposition political parties at the time called the handover a coup d’etat, but later agreed to accept Deby as interim leader for 18 months.



ExxonMobil announced the successful startup of its Beaumont refinery expansion project, which adds 250,000 barrels per day of capacity to one of the largest refining and petrochemical complexes along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Supported by the company’s growing crude production in the Permian Basin, the largest refinery expansion in more than a decade will help meet growing demand for affordable, reliable energy.

The added volume in Beaumont increases its total processing capacity to more than 630,000 barrels per day, making it one of the largest refineries in the United States.

The refinery is connected to pipelines from ExxonMobil’s operations in the U.S. Permian Basin, providing the company with significant strategic advantages. Permian crude oil is processed at the Beaumont refinery where the company manufactures finished products, including diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. With the completion of Wink to Webster and Beaumont pipelines, the new crude unit will also be well-positioned to further capitalize on segregated crude from the Delaware Basin.

Construction on the Beaumont expansion began in 2019 and involved 1,700 contractors.


CNOOC's offshore carbon dioxide injection well begins drilling work

China's first independently designed offshore carbon dioxide injection well will not only facilitate the government's ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, but also fills a void in China's offshore CO2 storage technology, industry experts said.

The offshore CO2 injection well, developed by China National Offshore Oil Corp, began drilling off the mouth of the Pearl River in the South China Sea on Sunday. Equipped with China's first offshore CO2 storage device, it will inject and seal up CO2 generated during oil and gas exploitation into the seabed — equivalent to storing 300,000 metric tons of the greenhouse gas per year at its peak with a cumulative storage of 1.5 million tons.

Guo Yongbin, deputy general manager and chief engineer of CNOOC Shenzhen branch, said the company had initially developed a full set of equipment able to carry out CO2 injection, storage and monitoring, thus filling a gap in China's offshore CO2 storage technology.

There are almost no successful drilling and completion technologies and cases that can be used for reference in offshore CO2 injection wells worldwide, Guo said.

CNOOC has successfully developed a low-density CO2 corrosion-resistant cement slurry system and a low temperature drilling fluid system, said the company.

An analyst said the project will help store CO2 produced by some high-emission enterprises in coastal areas.

The project will provide reference and guidance for subsequent oil and gas field development and large-scale emission reductions of coastal high-emission enterprises, while opening up a new road of carbon reduction and environmental protection, said Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University.

Located off the mouth of the Pearl River, the Enping 15-1 facility is Asia's largest offshore oil production platform and was put into operation in December. CNOOC has carried out research on key technologies related to geological reservoirs, drilling and completion as well as engineering integration suitable for offshore CO2 storage, and finally decided to store the greenhouse gas in a domed geological structure about 3 kilometers away from Enping 15-1.


Sinopec records 21% surge in revenue

China Petrochemical Corp, Asia's largest refiner by volume and also known as Sinopec, said on Sunday that its revenue in 2022 reached 3.32 trillion yuan($483 billion), a 21.1 percent year-on-year increase. Profit attributable to shareholders was 66.15 billion yuan.

Domestic oil and gas production hit a record high last year, with domestic crude oil production totaling 35.32 million metric tons. Natural gas production reached 35.37 billion cubic meters, up by 4.1 percent, it said.

Refining segment processed 242 million tons of crude oil while total sales volume of refined oil products for the year was 207 million tons. Annual ethylene output rose to 13.44 million tons, it said.

While the domestic demand for natural gas, petrochemical products and oil products was weak last year, Sinopec said it has fully leveraged its integration advantages in coordinating all aspects of work and developed through innovation.

'In 2022, the company encountered complicated, fickle and severe conditions, including global economic slowdown, geopolitical conflicts and weak domestic market demand,' said Ma Yongsheng, chairman of Sinopec Corp.

'In 2023, we will seize the favorable opportunity arising from steady development of domestic economy and the recovery of demand for petroleum and petrochemical products, insist on driving growth in a stable manner and strive to achieve effective quality improvement in different businesses and reasonable volume growth,' he said.


Covestro aligns values with China's green goals

An employee (third right) introduces bedding products from Covestro to visitors during the fifth China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov 9, 2022. [Photo provided to China Daily]

With China entering a new era of green and innovation-led growth, Covestro AG, a German company that produces a variety of polyurethane and polycarbonate-based raw materials, will put a new polyurethane dispersion plant into operation in its Shanghai integrated site in 2024 to meet the country's soaring demand for water-based industrial products to further cut carbon emissions, said a senior executive.

PUD material is a polyurethane polymer resin dispersed in water, rather than a solvent. The materials can be used in more environmentally compatible coatings and adhesives for a wide range of applications, including automotives, construction, furniture, textiles, footwear and packaging.

Representing a combined investment of a double-digit million euro amount, the new plant will reinforce Covestro's market presence in China, especially in the areas of developing waterborne solutions, said Thorsten Dreier, who will become Covestro's chief technology officer and board member on July 1.

Headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, Covestro has invested 3.7 billion euros ($4 billion) into the development of its integrated site in Shanghai since 2001. With 11 plants, the site has become the group's largest manufacturing base in the world.

'The situation in the Chinese market and also on a global basis for coatings and adhesives is that we see a development toward more bio-based and sustainable solutions,' said Dreier, who is currently the head of Covestro's coatings and adhesives business entity.

The executive said the company will continue to tap into the trend of customers turning to sustainable waterborne systems with quality properties to replace solvent-based products.

As demand for flexible and durable materials in China and the Asia-Pacific region is growing fast, the German company is building another factory to produce polyurethane elastomers in its Shanghai site to supply customers from industries ranging from offshore wind to solar energy as well as material handling. The facility is expected to be operational later this year.

As China upholds its target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, Dreier said that Covestro has been aligning such targets with its own strategies and incorporating them into daily practice.


Starbucks offers brand new curbside service in China

On Tuesday, Starbucks launched a brand new retail channel in China – Starbucks Curbside – by collaborating with Amap, a digital map solution provider, to offer coffee to customers on the road.

The new curbside service is currently available in 150 stores in Beijing and Shanghai, and will be rolled out to more than 1,000 stores in the country over next year.

The coffee house's curbside service leverages real-time route planning and positional tracking technologies to deliver the convenience of a drive-thru with minute precision, said Starbucks.

The technology not only estimates customers' arrival times at designated pick up points, but also automatically calculates the right time for Starbucks employees to craft and deliver the beverages.

The service for customers travelling by cars is an extension of the coffee house's third place from 'in-store' and 'at home' to 'on the road'.

Judy Zhang, vice-president of digital ventures of Starbucks China, said: 'On arrival, customers only have to roll down their car windows to receive their handcrafted Starbucks coffee on time and with the same quality, along with a warm greeting by our waiting Starbucks partner, just as if they were enjoying it in-store.'

Starbucks now operates more than 6,000 stores on the Chinese mainland and is expected to open more than 9,000 stores by 2025 in the market.


McDonald's China launches Regenerative Agriculture Plan with key suppliers

McDonald's China announced the launch of the McDonald's China Regenerative Agriculture Plan on March 24 in Shanghai. The company is joining hands with key suppliers to protect and restore the agricultural environment and ecosystem while ensuring quality food supply and vibrant nature.

The nine key suppliers, including Bimbo QSR, Cargill, GSF, Lamb Weston, McCain, McCormick, Simplot, Sunner, and Tyson, supplied over two-thirds of McDonald's China's procured ingredients.

The McDonald's China Regenerative Agriculture Plan will focus on five key areas: nature, soil, water, livestock, and farmers. The plan will also promote the achievement of McDonald's global 2050 carbon-neutral goal and help accelerate the development of green and low-carbon agriculture.

Four major actions will be taken during the first phase from 2023 to 2028, including promoting regenerative agriculture ideas and practices, accelerating regenerative agriculture test farms development and upgrades, ensuring the implementation is in line with the local agricultural situation, and growing collaboration partnerships to scale up regenerative agriculture coverage.

The company promises that about 2,000 core farmers will benefit from the plan empowerment, over 20,000 farmers in their communities will embark on the Regenerative Agriculture journey, and 10 test farms will be established by 2028.


Unilever seeks to ride boom in sales of condiments

British consumer goods company Unilever Plc said in the post-COVID era, the domestic catering sector has witnessed a boom, making the company highly confident in the growth potential of its condiment products in the Chinese mainland market, and it plans to continue to increase investment.

Currently, China stands as the largest market globally for Unilever's condiment business. In the past two decades, its condiment sector's compound annual growth rate has been in double digits.

'In China, we mainly focus on businesses related to Chinese food and sales of condiments products in the Chinese fast food category grew the fastest. We will continue to strengthen efforts in local research and development and manufacturing,' said Star Chen, chief executive officer of Unilever Food Solutions.

'China's catering pattern is huge. Chinese consumers are pursuing healthier diets in the post-pandemic era and a lot of classic cuisines are back in fashion. Our management team of the category is composed of Chinese people who deeply understand the local cuisines,' Chen said.

The company launched a second-phase production line of seasoning sauces at its Tianjin manufacturing site, which went into operation last year. The estimated annual output value of the second line is 740 million yuan ($108 million), and the company's integrated manufacturing site of condiments in Tianjin now stands as the biggest such plant in North Asia.

The site makes products such as chicken sauce, chicken powder, spicy sauce and salad dressings. The total annual output is expected to exceed 80,000 metric tons, the company said.

'China's condiment sector is experiencing rapid growth and new products have been constantly emerging. The category structure has also shifted from single to composite,' said Bai Yan, general secretary of the China Condiment Association.

'Chinese consumers have shown a demand for new consumption concepts and brought new challenges to the catering sector. Major industry players should share their experiences in advanced digital R&D and production, and help the whole sector with transformation and upgrading,' Bai said.

Meanwhile, the Tianjin plant has been selected as a 'lighthouse factory', becoming the first such factory in the condiment sector globally. Lighthouse factories refer to cutting-edge manufacturing sites that are pioneers in sustainable and profitable growth. It was recognized by a global initiative launched by the World Economic Forum and consultancy McKinsey in 2018.


Nike strides into environmental protection and uplifting girls

Sportswear producer Nike Inc has continued to make efforts in protecting the environment with circular innovations and has invested in programs to help girls and rural children in China, according to the company's 2022 annual impact report of its fiscal year.

Waste prevention, recycling and reuse had been key words in the sportswear producer's fiscal year agenda in 2022. For example, Nike and local supplier Stella International focused on reducing the biggest driver of the company's manufacturing waste stream: rubber flashing generated in the molding process.

During the process, by applying lean methodology to 80 percent of its rubber outsole footwear production, the Stella International factory successfully reduced flashing by 10 percent year-on-year. The relevant learning is being shared with global footwear suppliers, helping inform how other factories achieve reduction targets.

Nike's factories have already achieved 100 percent landfill diversion of the waste generated during production and processing. Since the end of 2021, Nike has worked with the Circular Economy Research Institute of Tongji University on a strategic cooperation on the closed-loop recycling of used shoes.

The company plans to build a total of 100 Nike Grind courts in China by 2030, enabling more school kids and athletes in the community to make sport a daily habit, and expects to reach around 300 million consumers throughout the journey.

The company had invested nearly 270 million yuan ($39.2 million) in key programs such as Active Schools, Boundless Girls and Jordan Wings to create a positive, lasting social impact.

For example, Boundless Girls, an innovative program that unleashes girls' potential through sport and inspiring role models, has reached more than 90,000 girls across over 500 schools in the country.

In the past few years, many outstanding women have participated in the program, including elite female athletes such as former professional tennis player, Li Na and swimming athlete Liu Xiang.

'I am proud of the work I do with Nike and the role the company has played to recruit and keep girls in sport, and I know the momentum will only grow,' said Li Na.


XCMG unveils new metaverse ambassador at Las Vegas trade show

XCMG, a leading Chinese construction machinery company, made a big impact at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 in Las Vegas, the world's largest construction trade show, which took place from March 14 to March 18. XCMG has been closely associated with CONEXPO-CON/AGG since the 1990s, and this marks the tenth time XCMG participated in the event.

At the show, XCMG exhibited its largest display ever of construction equipment, showcasing the latest products in cranes, excavators, loaders, piling machinery, road machinery, aerial work platforms, mining machinery and port machinery. Liu Jiansen, vice-president of XCMG Machinery and general manager of XCMG Import and Export Co, announced that the company's theme for the exhibition was 'Solid to Succeed,' reflecting XCMG's commitment to innovation, sustainability and excellence.

Besides showcasing its products, XCMG announced the launch of its new Metaverse Ambassador, marking its entry into the world of Metaverse. Liu Jiansen emphasized XCMG's focus on innovation, sustainability and the application of new technology. XCMG's participation in the Las Vegas exhibition demonstrates the company's international development strategy and commitment to the North American market.

The XCMG Metaverse Ambassador NFT, designed by a renowned digital artist, is highly sought after by collectors in the NFT community. XCMG's acquisition of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT with the serial number 3489 has also gained industry attention. XCMG's move reflects its forward-looking strategy and willingness to embrace Web3.0 and metaverse technology.

XCMG's participation in the Las Vegas construction machinery trade show and the launch of the new Metaverse Ambassador NFT are clear indications of the company's ambition to become a global leader in the construction machinery industry and a pioneer in the metaverse world. XCMG is committed to investing in innovation and technology and working closely with partners and customers worldwide to create a better future.