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China seeks economic stimulus to tackle sluggish growth

By Elizabeth Shim
China seeks economic stimulus to tackle sluggish growth
China is tackling slow growth with tax cuts and improved regulations for foreign firms. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 21 (UPI) -- China is seeking to stimulate its economy with tax cuts and relaxed regulations for foreign investors, following a year of a slowdown in growth.

China's policymakers met from Wednesday to Friday at the Central Economic Work Conference and agreed to take new measures, including greater protection for the intellectual property rights of foreign companies and lowered barriers of entry for non-Chinese firms, Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping said the goal is to "open all directions" for the Chinese economy, according to the report.

Policymakers in Beijing also agreed to expand and diversify its export markets -- China and the United States have been locked in a year-long trade dispute that has affected billions of dollars of goods exchanged between the two countries.

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Other changes include "significant" tax cuts, Bloomberg reported Friday.

The cuts will be enforced in 2019 to provide a stimulus to the economy.

"The focus for macro policy has shifted from lowering long-term risks to boosting short-term demand," said analyst Larry Hu of Macquarie Securities Ltd., according to Bloomberg.

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China has previously said it was willing to turn the crisis of slow growth into an opportunity, as concerns grow over significantly sluggish expansion.

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The stimulus package is being reported at a time when China is reversing a decision that impacted the gaming industry.

TechCrunch reported Friday the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party is reversing a freeze on game licenses, which went into effect nine months ago.

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The decision would allow developers to legally monetize their work in China. Licenses will follow soon, said Chinese official Feng Shixin.

Chinese regulators have been cracking down on games containing pornography, gambling and violence, according to the report.

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