11:00 am – 12:45 pm
- Sherry Tao Kong, “Digitally Down to the Countryside: Fintech, E-Commerce, and Rural Development in China”
- Raisa Epikhina, Maria Svirina, “China’s Art Market: Challenges and Opportunities for the Chinese Investors”
- Ketong Zhang, “What is the Role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for Chinese Foreign Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Influential Factors of the AIIB Loan Allocation”
Sherry Tao Kong, “Digitally Down to the Countryside: Fintech, E-Commerce, and Rural Development in China”
Digital finance and e-commerce have changed the landscape of businesses and financial service provision worldwide. China in particular, with a rapidly growing e-commerce market, a booming fintech sector and the largest number of users in the word, is at the forefront of the expansion of e-commerce and digital financial services. As such, the country has become an important case for better understanding as to how e-commerce and fintech operate and what their wide application entails for socioeconomic development in rural areas.This paper focuses on two particular aspects: first, using a unique household dataset collected in 80 Taobao villages in collaboration with the largest e-commerce platform in China, we investigate the characteristics of the rural e-commerce participants and discuss the developmental implications of e-commerce activities; second, we examine the main rural fintech models that are associated with e-commerce in China and demonstrate their potentials and limitations as a means of inclusive finance. Against the backdrop of the heightened enthusiasm of using e-commerce and fintech to promote development in China and the rest of the global South, our paper offers new insights on the potential benefits and risks that e-commerce and fintech pose for rural development and rural livelihoods in China and elsewhere.
Raisa Epikhina, Maria Svirina, “China’s Art Market: Challenges and Opportunities for the Chinese Investors”
Investing in fine arts is considered risky and often seems to be devoid of any logic. However, it allows investors to reduce the level of correlation between the returns from various assets in their portfolios and diversify risks related to the price and exchange rate volatility. According to Artprice, the “returns on art over the last few years have outperformed many other investments.” China’s art market has been rapidly developing in the XXI century and is one of the top 3 largest art markets in the world. Drawing on the analysis of statistical data, industry reports and case studies, this paper identifies key cultural, economic, political, and technological drivers that have affected its development. It argues that investing in fine arts appears to be one of the popular types of alternative investments in China given relatively low-interest rates in banks, overheated real estate market and limitations of the stock market. Nevertheless, China’s art market is a challenging environment for investors. It is characterised by heterogeneity, low transparency and liquidity. It is difficult to predict the effectiveness of investments. Investors also have to bear costs associated with the expert examination of art pieces in order to ensure their authenticity, as well as the storage of works of art. Finally, despite the digitalisation of art trade entry barriers remain relatively high.
Ketong Zhang, “What is the Role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for Chinese Foreign Policy? An Empirical Analysis of Influential Factors of the AIIB Loan Allocation”
Created in late 2015, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is considered a symbolic move for the Chinese government’s involvement in the regional financial governance and often be seen as a challenge to the current multilateral development institutions. Many studied the significance of the foundation of the bank for China and its membership, yet it was not clear about the character of the bank and its role for China after its foundation. This paper uses quantitative research method to analyse the influential factors in the AIIB loan allocation and tries to explore the intention of Chinese government behind the AIIB operations and links it with Chinese foreign policies. Based on past literature on similar financial institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, this research put the loan data in a larger context by comparing the AIIB loans against all potential influential factors for all countries and all member countries of the AIIB and finds that loans allocation is determined by a complex of factors yet to some degree it serves the interest of China. Moreover, the fairness of loan allocation and the international characters of the bank also promote the soft power of China and try to justify China as a responsible regional leader.
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