Mr Xi visits the UK

Members of the Royal Family and politicians are due to greet China’s President Xi Jinping at the start of his four-day state visit to the UK.
Mr Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, will take part in a procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, ahead of a state banquet held by the Queen later.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Britain was going into closer relations with China with its “eyes wide open”.
He denied allegations the UK was acting like “a panting puppy” towards Beijing.
Ministers expect more than £30bn of trade and investment deals to be struck during the four-day visit, which will also include talks between Mr Xi and Prime Minister David Cameron.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said “nothing is off the table” in the talks.
But Mr Hammond denied the government was being “naive”, saying it was “very much in our national interest to engage with China”.
“I think we are developing a mature relationship with the Chinese,” he said.
“They know that we are looking not just to China but to many other countries for infrastructure investment in the UK.”
The trip – the first UK state visit by a Chinese leader since 2005 – has been hailed by officials from both countries as the start of a “golden era” of relations.
The Treasury hopes to establish China as Britain’s second biggest trading partner within 10 years.
Chinese companies are to be allowed to take a stake in British nuclear power plants, and a trip by Mr Xi and Mr Cameron to Manchester later in the week is expected to see the announcement of further investment in the so-called “Northern powerhouse” project.
But the visit comes as China’s economy grew by just 6.9% in the third quarter, the weakest rate since the global financial crisis.
China and the UK

The president will begin his visit on Tuesday by being greeted by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal Mandarin Hotel in London.
He will then inspect a guard of honour at Horse Guards Parade, where he and his wife will also be given a ceremonial welcome by the Queen and Duke Of Edinburgh.
A state carriage procession will then take them to Buckingham Palace.
Mr Xi will later travel to Westminster where he will address MPs and Lords at the Palace of Westminster.
He will then visit Clarence House for a further engagement with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, before arriving back at Buckingham Palace for meetings with the Duke of Cambridge and, afterwards, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Queen will round off the day by hosting a state banquet in the president’s honour, which will be attended by members of the Royal Family – including Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge – as well as Mr Cameron and Mr Corbyn.
Prince Charles, will not be attending, but no official reason has been given for his absence.

VW only sell petrols’ in China

It never rains but it pours. This is the case with the Volkswagen Group this year. Even as it takes heat in the United States and elsewhere for cheating on diesel emissions, the German auto giant faces a pressing need to revive flagging sales in China, where it sells only gasoline-powered vehicles. VW has yet to disclose a turnaround plan to stimulate China sales. But last week at the Frankfurt auto show, VW China CEO Jochem Heizmann hinted that the company will introduce more SUVs and inexpensive vehicles, lets hope so and maybe the Chinese public will vote with their bums on seats

Home town blues

Another freak accident has been reported in an escalator in a busy shopping mall in northeast China’s city of Shenyang. A woman managed to jump over in the nick of time and save her life, when the top section on an escalator unexpectedly collapsed.
The incident happened at about 14:30 on Sunday.The women says she had heard a strange noise while standing the escalator and quickly hopped out, when she saw the section in front of her came off.
The latest incident happened several weeks later as a woman in central China’s Jingzhou city fell through a gap that suddenly opened up at the top of an operating escalator and died. Otherwise the incident could have led to injuries, he added. The escalator was immediately decommissioned and the security staff are dealing with the incident and trying to find out the reason for the malfunction.

There have been an increasing number of freak accidents involving escalators in China and escalator and elevator safety has become a common concern.

Experts say that while stricter inspections of the escalators should be in place, customers themselves should also be fully alert when using them.
Experts say customers should hold the handrail while on an elevator and that customers should also be instructed to use the stop button when an accident happens.

China car market dips -6.6%in July hitting just 1.27M units

China’s car and light vehicle sales declined for the third consecutive month in July due to the weakening domestic economy, dipping 6.6 percent year on year to 1.27 million units. Only SUVs maintained sales growth last month. Sales of sedans, MPVs and small or microvans declined compared with the same month last year, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

High Speed link opens on trial

A high-speed railway between two cities in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, known for its high latitudes and biting cold winters, began a trial operation on Monday. A bullet train departed from the provincial capital of Harbin at around 5 a.m. to the city of Qiqihar, according to the Harbin Railway Bureau. The railway, with the highest latitude among all high-speed railways in China, will be put into official operation in August, more than five years after the construction started on the 281-km route. With a designated speed of 250 kilometers per hour and eight stops, the rail is expected to carry about eight million passengers annually. The trains have been modified to adapt to temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius and resist adverse weather, such as strong winds, heavy rain, snow and fog. In late June, the county’s first high-speed railway to cross mountainous areas began operation, linking Fuzhou City, east China’s Fujian Province, and Hefei, Anhui Province.

After China’s first bullet train was built in 2008, high-speed rail has expanded prodigiously, with more than 16,000 kilometers of fast track in operation and another 10,000 kilometers under construction.

MERS still being monitored as worries increase

Airports in China have strengthened quarantine inspections on inbound passengers from countries that have confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome, which has infected 25 people and caused two deaths in South Korea. Authorities at Beijing Capital International Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport detailed on their websites on Tuesday the anti-epidemic measures they have adopted at the request of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The Beijing airport will use infrared thermometers to monitor the temperatures of inbound passengers, and quarantine inspectors will look for those who have fevers, coughs or difficulty breathing.

Chinese tourists returning from South Korea and Middle East countries – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Yemen, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq – should report to the quarantine authority if they have such symptoms, according to the entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau of Beijing.

Authorities are paying close attention to incoming passengers at Dalian International Airport in Liaoning province, where nearly half of the inbound flights are from South Korea.

Airlines are required to report whether there are passengers with fevers and provide passenger seating information on flights from South Korea.

In China, the number of people who had close contact with the first patient, a South Korean man in the country with MERS rose to 78 in Guangdong, the provincial Health and Family Planning Commission said on Tuesday. Sixty-nine of them have been quarantined. However, 9 passengers aboard a bus to Huizhou that the patient used have still not been contacted.

Provincial health authorities reported that the patient’s condition had improved. The patient flew from South Korea to Hong Kong last week and entered Huizhou City via Shenzhen, and was put under observation in an isolation ward.

None of those quarantined have shown any sign of the disease. Additionally, the patient’s condition improves, so doctors are cautiously optimistic about his recovery.

South Korea’s top travel agency, Hana Tour, was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying that about 300 Chinese people dropped travel plans to the country amid growing fears over the spread of MERS.

Ctrip.com International Inc, China’s largest Internet travel agency, said that it hasn’t received cancellations for trips to South Korea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Tourism Administration have not issued travel warnings for South Korea, said Ge Lei, marketing director of the China Youth Travel Service, adding that only a few customers have canceled their trips.

Growing but more slowly Automotive still on track

BEIJING, June

Qoros

The Chinese automobile market reported a contraction in May as sales decline low percent month-on-month to trends suggest units continuing around the 2m mark, data showed Monday. Sales volume also dropped 0.5 percent year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Auto output reached 2.08 million units during the month, down 8.9 percent from March. This represents a tepid 0.6-percent rise over the same period last year. In the first four months, sales in the world’s largest auto market rose by 2.8 percent, reaching 8.14 million units; output during the same period rose 4.1 percent to 8.28 million units. Growth rates for output and sales during January-April decelerated by 4.9 and 6.3 percentage points from the same period last year.

Job Vacancy

China Commerce Bureau Ltd is looking for a mobile application writer/developer for a specific project, come and be part of an innovative and influential business delivering mobile and online business services to a leading player in the retail market. We are committed to delivering and supporting excellent customer focussed services for a client and to do this we need to recruit the best team. The Internet Systems Team is looking for a talented frontend web developer to work with the team to build and develop a unique product for a specific client, the product will deliver a wide range of online systems and solutions for an international partner. You will have the opportunity to use your skills and experience in frontend design, usability and user testing to help improve the user experience across a wide range of systems developed in-house and bought-in packages.

The team uses a wide range of technologies including Java, PHP, NodeJS, Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB to develop systems with frontends written using HTML5, CSS3, SASS, AngularJS, JQuery etc, often using responsive design techniques. This project is team-based and we’re planning to use a Scrum/Agile development processes. There will be a mixture of team working and individual problem solving. There’s also more routine day-to-day work too.

Helping develop with UI design, mock-ups and user testing will be a key part of the job. The position has plenty of opportunities to learn about new technologies as they emerge to advise on how best we can use them to improve our current planned system. You should have a practical background in a related subject area (or equivalent qualifications/experience) along with practical web design and development experience. Experience of working on projects using a variety of methodologies such as Scrum and Agile is desirable. Area of residence is irrelevant. Businesses that could supply services can get in touch as the requirement is immediate. £30K, practical experience and delivery are the key words. email: vanessa.coney@nestorltd.com if you can do the job.

Investing in classics makes sense around the world

Bids were flying around Barons’ Sandown Park saleroom on April 21st, when an extremely rare 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback ‘barn find’ restoration project went under the hammer. With an estimate of £200,000-£400,000, the car attracted frenzied bidding before it was finally secured by its new owner for £739,212*. This was the highest price Barons has ever achieved for a car – and other strong sales on the day brought the auction total to over £1 million, another company record for Barons.

It was not an easy bidding battle to win, with bids coming in from around the world. Barons’ staff were taking bids from 10 potential buyers over the telephone, 20 on the internet and a further 15 in the saleroom itself, as the bids began climbing in increments of £50,000 then tapering to increments of £25,000 before reaching the final, remarkable figure.

In the end the car went to a British owner, who will be adding this magnificent machine to his private collection. When restored his new acquisition – which has not been driven in 15 years – could be worth over £1,000,000.

Chassis BC52C was commissioned in 1954 by the Welsh racing driver R D Weatherall and was originally painted in his racing colour, Royal Purple. It still bears the registration number RDW 536. A subsequent owner, a doctor from Yorkshire, had the car re-sprayed in white, the colour it retains to this day.

Barons’ director Tony Cavell said, “This was an absolutely fantastic result. A ‘lost’ car always attracts collectors’ attention, and when it’s such a rare, iconic and valuable machine, that interest can lead to a frenetic bidding battle such as we saw yesterday. It will be fascinating to see the ‘journey’ the Bentley now takes, as its restoration commences.”

“This was the first sale that my fellow director Peter Gascoigne and I have fully assembled and presided over since we took the reins at Barons earlier in the year. We couldn’t have been more delighted with how things turned out, from the atmosphere in the saleroom to the final result. To top £1 million for the first time for Barons is a tremendous achievement, and it has been a privilege to play a role in finding a new home for a truly remarkable car.”

Other strong results achieved included the very beautiful 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25, which drove past top estimate to sell for just under £41,000*, and a stately Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III, which sold for £23,500*.

Year Make Model Sold @ Inc
1953 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback £739,212
1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Saloon £40,892
2001 Aston Martin DB7 GTS Coupe £25,772
1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III £23,532
1951 Chevrolet Styleline Custom £19,052
1974 Triumph Stag £14,292
1987 Mercedes 300SL Convertible £10,876
1935 Austin 7 APD/E Military Tourer £10,042
1963 Mercedes Evocation 500K £10,000
1968 Ford Escort 1100 De Luxe £9,756
2000 Rover Mini Cooper 500LE £8,132
1991 Peugeot 205 Cti £7,964
1996 Alfa Romeo V6 Spider £7,852
1989 Bentley Eight £7,852
1966 Wolseley Hornet Heinz 57 Crayford £7,852
1987 Mercedes 300SL £7,068
1987 Harley Davidson 1200 Custom £6,732
1989 Alfa Romeo Spider £6,620
1989 Land Rover Range Rover Vogue SE £6,452
1986 Bentley Eight £6,172
1989 Citroen CX 2500 Gti £5,612
1977 Mercedes 200 £4,716
1972 Fiat 500 £4,604
1961 Mercedes 180 Ponton £4,268
1998 Mercedes SL320 £4,212
1996 Daimler Six (X300) £3,988
1995 Daimler  Double Six LWB £3,752
1985 Austin Rover Mini Hot Rod £3,652
2002 Land Rover Range Rover £3,596
1979 Daihatsu F20 Taft £3,484
1991 Mercedes 300CE £3,204
2000 Mercedes CLK 320 £3,036
1974 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE5A £2,924
1999 Jaguar XJ8 4.0 V8 £2,364
1990 Mitsubishi 3000 GTO V6 £2,364
1978 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I £2,252
1990 Mercedes 300SE £1,916
2002 Vauxhall Vectra £1,142
1950s Child’s pedal car £531
Bologna Chronograph £142
Rim Chronograph £130
SALE TOTAL £1,038,010

*all prices include buyer’s premium and VAT.

Barons’ next sale will see another great British marque brought to the fore: its Classic, Collector and Jaguar Heritage auction will be at Sandown Park on June 16th.

Recalls and new products for the auto sector in China

China’s product quality watchdog has urged Jaguar Land Rover to investigate claims by China’s state-owned TV station that the Range Rover Evoque is having transmission problems. During its annual consumer rights program aired on Sunday, the TV station said owners had complained that the Evoque’s gearbox sometimes stops working or fails to change gears. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. launched sales of a new flagship midsize sedan, the Geely GC9, this week. The car, with a starting price of 146,800 yuan ($23,700), is the first midsize sedan unveiled under the Geely brand after the company decided to replace its Emgrand, Gleagle and Englon subbrands with a single brand.