Two interesting research reports were eleased early this week; the first, by global communications service provider WPP Group, identifies a core group of China’s prosumers – smart, active and tech-savvy consumers who gain their information from digital media or online and influence mass consumers in terms of lifestyle and brand choices. The second report, from business consultancy McKinsey & Company, details China's urban growth.

Reuters has an interesting piece on why China's new incubator bourse for start ups will likely fail.

In other stock market related news, the China Securities Regulatory Commission reiterates that it will prevent developers from using funds from IPOs for the development of new properties or the purchase of land.

China finds a vaccine for human bird flu? According to the official Xinhua News Agency, the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) has approved Sinovac Biotech Co Ltd, a Beijing-based biotech firm, to start production of a vaccine for humans against the H5N1 virus.

Via the BBC's Stephen Sackur talks to Liu Mingkang, the chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, about China's ability to weather the economic downturn in the US. The Financial Times carries a piece suggesting that the US sub-prime crisis is likely to put China's economic reforms on hold.

A recent auction for 30,000 Shanghai license plates resulted in an average price of RMB32,169, up almost 50% on the average price in January of a mere RMB23,370 but still significantly down from a peak last December of RMB56,042RMB.

China supply chain businesses saw substantial growth last year, according to an article carried by Cargo News Asia.

Via the excellent China Law Blog, China Business Services Blog has an interesting article about the demise of US electronics chain Best Buy in China and the lessons other retailers with China aspirations should heed.

Among the many new cars that Geely intends to launch, China Car Times takes a detailed look at hybrids and upmarket models.

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