Inside Shanghai’s robot bank: China opens world’s first human-free branch

‘Little Dragon’ can chat to customers, accept bank cards and check accounts. She joins a growing army of robot workers in China’s cities. Xiao Long, the latest employee at the Jiujiang Road branch of the China Construction Bank is never late for work. “Welcome to China Construction Bank,” she chirps to customers arriving at the Shanghai branch, flashing her white teeth. “What … http://bit.ly/2IKr6JZ

China’s great leap forward in science

Chinese investment is paying off with serious advances in biotech, computing and space. Are they edging ahead of the west? I first met Xiaogang Peng in the summer of 1992 at Jilin University in Changchun, in the remote north-east of China, where he was a postgraduate student in the department of chemistry. He told me that his dream was to get a place at a top American lab. … http://bit.ly/2GDJaRg

China’s ‘sponge cities’ are turning streets green to combat flooding

Replacing concrete pavements with wetlands, green rooftops and rain gardens means stormwater is absorbed back into the land, making water work for the city instead of against it. A small part of Shanghai is turning greener, street by street. In the Lingang district, pavements are lined with trees, gardens and public squares full of plant beds. Between cranes and construction … http://bit.ly/2lE3PMQ

Leaving the EU will be bad for trade, but a secret Brexit will be worse

As China’s domestically sourced supply of parts and components has risen over the past decade, this particular share of the country’s total imports has halved. We can think about these trends as part of the deglobalisation narrative, in which cross-border international lending and trade financing is much reduced, and foreign direct investment as a share of global GDP is … http://bit.ly/2hFsBKs

‘Faustian bargain’: defence fears over Australian university’s $100m China partnership

University of New South Wales says it has conducted due diligence and concerns about research being used for military purposes are drawing ‘a very long bow’. A world-first collaboration between the University of New South Wales and the Chinese government, celebrated as a $100m innovation partnership, opens a Pandora’s box of strategic and commercial risks for Australia, according to leading a … http://bit.ly/2fNJB0k