1 VALE EVACUATES 200 PEOPLE FROM TOWN NEAR ITS MAR AZUL MINE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      2 TOOTH PLAQUE SHOWS DRINKING MILK GOES BACK 3,000 YEARS IN MONGOLIA WWW.SCIENCENEWS.ORG  PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      3 INCREASING NUMBER OF CHINA-EUROPE FREIGHT TRAINS SUPPORTS MONGOLIA'S ECONOMY: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      4 TAX REVENUE INCREASES BY 33.7 PERCENT WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/17      5 COPPER MINER'S $10B BET COMES TO LIFE IN PANAMA JUNGLE WWW.MINING.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      6 TRADE UNIONS REQUEST PM TO FOCUS ON INTEREST RATE CUT WWW.ZGM.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      7 MONGOLIA’S HOURLY WAGE TO REACH USD 1 WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      8 US NARCOTICS BY POST TO MONGOLIA! THREE ARRESTED WWW.NEWS.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      9 WRITER D.URIANKHAI NOMINATED FOR THE NOBEL PRIZE WWW.MONTSAME.MN PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      10 MONGOLIA-CHINA-RUSSIA ECONOMIC CORRIDOR BENEFITS ALL SIDES: OFFICIAL WWW.XINHUANET.COM PUBLISHED:2019/02/15      “ОЮУ ТОЛГОЙ” КОМПАНИ 570 ТОННЫ ДААЦТАЙ CAT БРЭНДИЙН ГИДРАВЛИК ЭСКВАТОРООР ХҮЧЭЭ СЭЛБЭЛЭЭ WWW.GOGO.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ӨРХИЙН САРЫН ДУНДАЖ ОРЛОГО 78,000 ТӨГРӨГӨӨР ӨССӨН Ч ЗАРЛАГА ДАВСАН ХЭВЭЭР БАЙНА WWW.IKON.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АВСТРАЛИЙН ЭЛЧИН САЙД ДЭВИД МЭТЬЮ ВОСЭН ИТГЭМЖЛЭХ ЖУУХ БИЧГЭЭ ӨРГӨН БАРИВ WWW.MONTSAME.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2018 ОНД МОНГОЛ УЛСЫН ЭДИЙН ЗАСАГ 6.9 ХУВИАР ӨСЛӨӨ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МХБ: II/15-НЫ БАЙДЛААР 8 КОМПАНИ ХЭХ-ЫН ТОВОО ГАРГААД БАЙНА WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     2017 ОНД 1.9 ТЭРБУМ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АЛДАГДАЛТАЙ АЖИЛЛАСАН “УЛААНБААТАР БҮК” 2018 ОНД 566 САЯ ТӨГРӨГИЙН АШИГТАЙ АЖИЛЛАВ WWW.BLOOMBERGTV.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     ОРХОН ТҮҮХИЙ НҮҮРСНЭЭС ТАТГАЛЗСАН АНХНЫ АЙМАГ БОЛНО WWW.UNUUDUR.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     АТГ-ААС НЭР БҮХИЙ 6 ШҮҮГЧИЙГ ШАЛГАЖ ЭХЭЛЖЭЭ WWW.EAGLE.MN НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/15     МОНГОЛ УЛС ДЭЛХИЙН 77 ОРОНД БАРАА ЭКСПОРТОЛСНООС ХЯТАДАД 93%-ИЙГ НЬ НИЙЛҮҮЛЖЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14     АВТО МАШИНЫ ИМПОРТ 2018 ОНД 30% ӨСӨЖ, 86,296-Д ХҮРЧЭЭ WWW.IKON.MN  НИЙТЭЛСЭН:2019/02/14    

Events

Name organizer Where
“Doing business with Mongolia”, “UK Investors show” бизнес хөтөлбөр March 27-April 02. 2019 ЛОНДОН ХОТ, ИХ БРИТАНИ Mongolian Business Database London UK
SYMPOSIUM ON GLOBAL MARKETS Nationalism and Protectionism: The United States in the International Arena June 17-18, 2019 The Center for American and International Law Plano, Texas, USA The Center for American and International Law (CAILAW) Plano Texas June 17-18 2019
"Open to Export" ICC WTO International business award ICC WTO London

NEWS

64x64

Oyu Tolgoi releases Q4 Production Report and 2016 Scorecard www.mongolia.goog.mn

Oyu Tolgoi today announced an update on its production for the fourth quarter of 2016 and, released the latest edition of its Performance Scorecard.

Oyu Tolgoi performed better than target on safety in 2016, and continuing to be one of the leading safety performers across Rio Tinto and peers in the broader mining industry.
Armando Torres, Managing Director – Oyu Tolgoi, said, “The Oyu Tolgoi team delivered a strong performance over 2016 despite significant operational and market challenges. Our safety performance continues to be one of the best in Rio Tinto – and indeed, across our global mining peers, achieving an All Injury Frequency Rate of 0.22 for the year. Oyu Tolgoi also achieved record setting performance in the open pit operation, and underground development continues to progress well – establishing a strong foundation for the year ahead.”
Oyu Tolgoi’s open pit mining and concentrator operations in 2016 achieved record levels for material mined and ore treated, and exceeded both copper and gold production guidance for the year. Concentrator performance during the fourth quarter was strong with the highest throughput since production began.
During Q4’16, progress continued in key areas of underground development with the national workforce working on the underground project crossing 2,000 personnel; Shafts 2 and 5 related activities and construction of critical on-site facilities continued, and the bulk excavation component for the conveyor-to-surface work stream was completed. Lateral development rates are progressing well with a further increase expected in 2017, when additional underground crushing capacity is added.
Oyu Tolgoi is expected to produce 130,000 to 160,000 tonnes of copper in concentrates and 100,000 to 140,000 ounces of gold in concentrates for 2017.
Q4’16 Scorecard
Oyu Tolgoi’s total in-country spend since 2010 crossed US$6.1 billion at the end of Q4 – demonstrating a strong, continuing commitment to local content in both operations and underground development, including US$760 million total spend in country in 2016.
The company continued its world-class environment performance, achieving an annual average water recycling rate of 86.2 per cent, and using only 0.423 cubic metres of water per tonne of ore processed – one-third the usage of comparable operations worldwide.
At the end of 2016, 93.5 per cent of Oyu Tolgoi’s total workforce was Mongolian, including 96 per cent Mongolian employees at the open pit mining and concentrator operations; and with South Gobi residents comprising 22 per cent of the total workforce.
Oyu Tolgoi continued its strong contribution to the South Gobi community in 2016 achieving procurement spends of US$69 million, and investing US$9.7 million in sustainable development and community infrastructure projects in the region. Two major infrastructure projects saw significant progress in the last quarter, with the Bayan-Ovoo Primary Health Care Center, a two-story building with 10 beds, a surgery and birthing room, and employing 18 staff, including doctors and nurses completed, and the Khanbogd bulk water treatment plant nearing commissioning.

...


64x64

Presidential election expected on June 26 www.en.montsame.mn

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Standing Committee on State Structure backed the parliamentary resolution on designating the date of the upcoming Presidential Election. The resolution suggests that voters in Mongolia will cast their ballots in the Presidential election on June 26, 2017.

The Mongolian nationals, living outside the country, would register their votes on June 10 and 11.

The decision will be legitimized after the approval by the State Great Khural.

In the interview with MONTSAME, Chairman of the General Election Committee Ch.Sodnomtseren noted that the date of balloting is being announced in accordance with the Law on Elections, as it provides that the election date must be settled at least 150 days prior to the election. The law also provides that elections should be held in the last week of June.

Pursuant to the Constitution of Mongolia, a presidential candidate must be a citizen of Mongolia, aged 45 years or more, must have lived in Mongolia for the five years to the candidature and be a member of political party that has at least one seat in the parliament.

...


64x64

US exit from TPP may open the door to China www.rt.com

President Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may open the way for China to step in and fill the vacuum.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the participation of US in the trade deal. The President also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) sealed with Canada and Mexico.

TPP was signed last February by the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru after more than five years' negotiation. The countries account for more than 40 percent of the global economy and nearly a third of the world trade.

Japan, Mexico, and Australia have already said they intend either to try and keep the deal functining or to reshape it into something similar.

Trump’s move has been criticized by some.

“Trump has single-handedly given away an enormous source of leverage over China. The first rule of negotiating is don't give away something for nothing, and he's done that right off the bat,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted by CNN Money.

“It will create an opening for China to rewrite the economic rules of the road at the expense of American workers,” said Senator John McCain, a former Republican presidential nominee.

China is pursuing its own trade deal known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and involves the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements, including Japan and Australia.

If the deal succeeds, China could become the center of a vast free trade area.

“We are willing to work with all countries to pull together in times of difficulties so that we can fulfill our responsibility and make our effort in resolving problems facing the world today,” the Chinese foreign ministry said on Tuesday, adding that significant progress has been made on RCEP.

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech in defense of globalization, warning against protectionists who want the end of free trade.

At the same time, China has been accused of protecting its big state-owned corporations at the expense of foreign firms as well as limiting access to its domestic market.

...


64x64

Alcoa beats revenue estimates, sees higher aluminum demand www.reuters.com

Alcoa Corp (AA.N) reported higher-than-expected revenue in its first quarterly results after the metals company split into two in November, helped partly by a rise in alumina prices.

The producer of aluminum, alumina and bauxite also said it expects a 4 percent growth in global aluminum demand in 2017 even as the market remains modestly oversupplied.

The company's shares were up 2 percent in after-market trading on Tuesday. The stock has risen 42 percent since Donald Trump's victory in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

Alcoa's results come at an interesting time for the global aluminum industry.

The Chinese government's stimulus to boost the economy have lifted demand. Added to that, a stimulus package proposed by Trump could further help aluminum producers such as Alcoa.

But there is also the risk of a trade war with China after the outgoing Obama administration launched a new complaint earlier this month against Chinese aluminum subsidies at the World Trade Organization.

Alcoa said it expects a 6 percent increase in demand from China, driven by packaging, electrical, transportation sectors.

Alcoa said it expects bauxite and alumina markets to be relatively balanced in 2017, and "a modest" global aluminum surplus of 400,000-800,000 metric tons due to higher output in top producer China.

Alcoa generated $2.54 billion in revenue in the quarter, beating the average analyst estimate of $2.46 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The New York-based company reported net loss of $125 million, or 68 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

"Rising alumina and aluminum prices improved the bottom line," Chief Executive Officer Roy Harvey said in a statement, adding that margins doubled in the company's alumina segment.

Alcoa's spun-off unit Arconic Inc (ARNC.N), which provides aluminum and titanium alloys used in planes and cars, is expected to report on Jan. 31.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

...


64x64

Super-rich American ‘preppers’ buying in New Zealand ready for US doomsday www.rt.com

Wealthy Americans are preparing for a possible US collapse or revolt by the poor and buying properties in New Zealand, The New Yorker magazine reported.

According to writer Evan Osnos, preppers from Silicon Valley and New York are getting ready for the "crackup of civilization."

One American hedge-fund manager who owns two New Zealand homes told Osnos he expected at least a decade of political turmoil in the United States. PayPal co-founder and Facebook investor Peter Thiel also owns property there, and has described New Zealand as "utopia."

Osnos said it's unclear exactly how many wealthy Americans are buying property in New Zealand with the apocalypse in mind, while many just want a holiday home there. However, the amount of land they have purchased in the last few years has increased dramatically, he added.

Statistics showed foreigners had bought over 3500 square kilometers of New Zealand in the first ten months of 2016, which is over four times as much as they did in the same period in 2010.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman told The New Yorker that New Zealand had become the hot topic among Silicon Valley leaders lately.

"Saying you're 'buying a house in New Zealand' is kind of a wink, wink, say no more. Once you've done the Masonic handshake, they'll be, like, 'Oh, you know, I have a broker who sells old ICBM silos, and they're nuclear-hardened, and they kind of look like they would be interesting to live in."

Hoffman estimated that over half of the Silicon Valley insiders were into preparedness - especially since anti-elite sentiment has risen around the globe in recent years. It was intensified by events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, he added.

According to the NY article, in the seven days after Trump’s election, 13,401 Americans registered with New Zealand’s immigration authorities, which is the first step toward seeking residency. The number was “more than seventeen times the usual rate.”

Meanwhile, the growing foreign appetite for New Zealand has already generated resentment. The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa—the Maori name for New Zealand—opposes the sell-out to foreigners, particularly to American survivalists.

In a discussion about New Zealand on prepper website Modern Survivalist, one of the commentators wrote, “Yanks, get this in your heads. Aotearoa NZ is not your little last resort safe haven.”

...


64x64

Australia and New Zealand to pursue 'TPP 12 minus one' www.bbc.com

Australia and New Zealand say they are hopeful of pressing ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, despite America's formal withdrawal.
The US-led 12-nation agreement was set to cover 40% of the world's economic output.
Pulling out of the TPP was one of Mr Trump's first executive orders and fulfils a long-held campaign promise.
Australia has already devised a name for a possible new agreement: TPP 12 Minus One.
The country's trade minister Steve Ciobo said Australia would not abandon the TPP just because it would require "a little bit of elbow grease" to keep it alive.
Meanwhile China, which was not part of the deal, hinted it may look to take advantage of TTP's collapse saying it was in favour of "open and transparent regional economic arrangements".
The trade agreement was negotiated by former US President Barack Obama and was aimed at deepening economic ties between member its countries, which were Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

Mr Ciobo was in Switzerland last week to discuss new deals at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"I've had conversations with Canada, with Mexico, with Japan, with New Zealand, with Singapore, Malaysia," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from New York on Monday.
"I know that there's been conversations that have been had with Chile and with Peru. So there's quite a number of countries that have an interest in looking to see if we can make a TPP 12 minus one work," he said.
Mr Ciobo also said the original architecture of the TPP was designed to enable other countries to join.
"Certainly I know that Indonesia has expressed a possible interest and there would be scope for China if we were able to reformulate it to be a TPP 12 minus one for countries like Indonesia or China or indeed other countries to consider joining and to join in order to get the benefits that flow as a consequence," he said.
New Zealand: Hopeful for TPP, but eyeing one-on-one deals
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has said he is hopeful of keeping a free trade deal alive with remaining members of the TPP agreement, while the country's trade minister Todd McClay told local media he expected TPP ministers would meet in the coming months to navigate a way forward.

Like his Australian counterpart, Mr McClay said he had met with a number of TPP member countries in Davos.
"New Zealand's economy depends upon fair access to overseas markets. We will continue to advocate for the benefits of trade liberalisation on the world stage," he said.
The country is also looking to hammer out bilateral deals with other countries and has recently been to the Middle East, promoting key New Zealand products including dairy.
Last week, Mr McClay confirmed New Zealand and Sri Lanka would move ahead with discussions on new trade and investment opportunities, including a free trade agreement between the two countries.
And the minister has said trade relations with the UK are in good shape, with an agreement in place to try and ensure there is no disruption to bilateral trade between New Zealand and Britain in the wake of Brexit.

Any hope of resurrecting the TPP will surely depend on Japan, the world's third largest economy.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reinforced his trust in President Trump's leadership and said he hopes to continue talks with the US around free trade.
"I believe President Trump understands the importance of free and fair trade, so I'd like to pursue his understanding on the strategic and economic importance of the TPP trade pact," said Mr Abe during a parliament session on Monday.
Prime Minister Shinzo in parliamentImage copyrightKYODO NEWS
Image caption
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said he has trust in US President Donald Trump
Japan's finance minister Taro Aso reiterated this stance on Tuesday and told reporters that plans were being put in place for Mr Abe to visit the US and meet Mr Trump.
Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko said he would now be closely watching for any changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) - which includes Canada, Mexico and the US - and how that might impact Japanese companies.
China: Left out in the cold, is Beijing now rejoicing?
China, which was left out of the TPP deal, has its eye on its own regional trade pacts.
It has suggested a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific and is supportive of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which could see a free trade deal between countries including Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

Chinese president Xi Jinping defended free trade at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week
In Davos, President Xi Jinping defended the notion of free trade and said protectionism was akin to "locking oneself in a dark room".
The Chinese leader's comments were widely viewed as a reference to Mr Trump's "America first" policies and a clear signal that Beijing saw the move as an opportunity to play an even larger role in world trade - filling the vacuum left by the US.
At a press conference on Tuesday, a Beijing spokesman avoided answering questions about whether China would look to join the TPP.
China had been advocating open transparent trade routes in the Pacific region "along with win win solutions," he said.
"We believe in regional economic integration. We are for open and transparent regional economic arrangements. The economies of the Asia Pacific region are diverse. It's important to behave in a open way. We're ready to work with all sides to provide impetus for the Asia Pacific and the global economy."

...


64x64

Faraday Future accused of defaulting on $1.8 million in payments to visual-effects company www.businessinsider.com

 
Faraday Future allegedly failed to pay $1.8 million to a visual-effects company, according to a complaint filed in a Los Angeles court earlier this month.
 
The Mill Group said in its complaint that Faraday hired the company last summer to create a visual presentation "to promote the January 2017 launch of a new electric vehicle developed by Faraday," according to legal documents published by Jalopnik on Monday.
 
The complaint alleges that Faraday agreed to make payments totaling $1,855,750 to The Mill Group beginning in September 2016, with a final payment due in October the same year. The Mill Group claims it delivered the product to Faraday and alleges Faraday only paid $20,000 of the agreed-upon amount, according to the complaint.
 
Faraday Future representatives did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the allegations.
 
The Mill Group is the latest supplier to claim Faraday has not paid for services rendered. The intensely private startup has been struggling publicly in the face of a cash crunch and executive departures over the past six months.
 
Business Insider recently talked to eight current and former Faraday executives who described a company in turmoil. Once source with knowledge of the Faraday's affairs said if the company fails to beef up its pocketbook, "the suppliers would essentially force them into bankruptcy."
 
 
...


64x64

Goldman Sachs files $1 billion countersuit against Indonesian businessman www.reuters.com

Goldman Sachs filed a $1 billion counter lawsuit on Tuesday against an Indonesian businessman who is seeking damages from the U.S. bank for conducting what he called "unlawful" trades in the shares of a property firm.

Benny Tjokrosaputro, president director of Indonesian property developer PT Hanson International Tbk (MYRX.JK), filed a lawsuit in a Jakarta court on Sept. 8 against Goldman's unit, Goldman Sachs International.

Tjokrosaputro, who says that he owned the 425 million Hanson shares that Goldman traded, is seeking 15 trillion rupiah ($1.1 billion) in compensation from Goldman Sachs International and wants its assets frozen in Indonesia and overseas.

Goldman had said in response that Goldman Sachs International was the legal owner of the Hanson shares.

Goldman filed the counterclaim for "the reputational damage and negative business impact" that Tjokrosaputro's actions had caused, it said in a statement.

Tjokrosaputro's lawyer Nadia Saphira Ganie declined to comment, saying the team needed to study the counterclaim.

...


64x64

Bank of Ireland sees IT investment as boosting deal potential www.ft.com

Ireland’s oldest lender Bank of Ireland wants to use a €500m technology investment to give itself “optionality” for future acquisitions, said its chief executive Richie Boucher.

The bank, the only significant Irish lender not to be nationalised during the financial crisis, unveiled the IT investment plan in October last year, saying that it would position the institution for “long-term sustainability and competitiveness”.

“It gives us optionality into the future,” Mr Boucher told the Financial Times. “It’s hugely important . . . if you’re in retail banking and thinking about an acquisition you have to be really very comfortable that you can get synergies . . . a lot of that is about IT.”

Retail banking mergers have been repeatedly thwarted by technology issues.

One of the most high-profile failures was Royal Bank of Scotland’s attempt to sell Williams & Glyn as a separate bank carved out of its branch network to Santander in 2012 — largely due to IT problems. RBS must divest Williams & Glyn as a condition of EU rules for receiving a £45bn bailout during the financial crisis.

RBS dropped plans last year to float Williams & Glyn as a standalone bank, after spending about £1.5bn on its technology platform. RBS is still in the process of finding a buyer for Williams & Glyn, with Santander UK and Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banking Group the two interested parties.

Mr Boucher, who recently became a non-executive director of Greece’s Eurobank, stressed that Bank of Ireland is not in the market for an immediate acquisition. “It [the IT spending] will make the bank a better place and give great optionality to the people that come after me,” he added.

He would not comment on when he might step down; his eight years at the helm already make him Ireland’s longest serving bank chief executive.

Bank of Ireland had to sell swaths of its noncore business under the terms of an EU approved rescue plan, but has begun rebuilding. Earlier this month, the lender paid an undisclosed sum to Irish company Covestone Asset Management, which had €100m under management.

Policymakers are not yet supportive of big bank mergers, but some believe this will eventually change as regulators realise that the M&A-inspired economies of scale are the only way for banks to make the profits they need to pay for their rising regulatory costs.

Nordea and ABN Amro were almost a test case for regulators’ willingness last year when the Nordic bank made an approach to the Dutch government about a bid for ABN, but the talks ultimately went nowhere.

Permanent TSB, a smaller Irish lender, is facing a 20 per cent increase in its cost base “in the near term” because of regulatory costs alone, chief executive Jeremy Masding told the FT.

As well as cutting costs, acquisitions would also allow Irish banks to deflect criticism from Ireland’s central bank governor Philip Lane who last year said they have “relatively concentrated business models, focused primarily on Ireland and to some extent the UK”.

Still, there is little immediate appetite for an acquisition spree. Mr Masding said the bank was concentrating on “getting it right here in Ireland” rather than “spreading our wings” in other markets where he would have a “small presence and a lack of familiarity”.

Bernard Byrne, chief executive of AIB, in which the government hopes to sell a significant stake later this year, said acquisitions were not in the bank’s “short-term horizon” and that it can be “more effective” in its core market.

Bank of Ireland had the third worst capital ratio in the most recent stress tests run by the European Banking Authority; Mr Boucher said this was largely because of a “bizarre accounting convention” on how its pension is treated.

“The most important thing for us is that we’re generating capital organically,” he said, pointing to the 100 basis points of capital the bank generated in the first six months of 2016.

...


64x64

WeChat dominates Chinese mobile app use www.chinadaily.com.cn

 
Tencent Holdings Ltd's messaging services were by far the most popular mobile apps in China in 2016, leading steady
growth in the world's largest internet and smartphone market, a report showed on Sunday.
 
WeChat remained the most heavily used app in the country in 2016, with almost 80 percent of the online population employing the social media service frequently, the China Internet Network Information Center said in its annual report.
 
Tencent's QQ took second place, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's online platform Taobao came in third. Baidu Inc's mobile app and Alipay, the payments service run by Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial, rounded out the top five.
 
The rankings underscore how China's "BAT" internet triumvirate-Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent-dominate the country's internet industry. Internet users in the Chinese mainland climbed roughly 6 percent to 731 million-about twice the population of the United States.
 
The number of people who accessed the internet through a mobile device surged more than 12 percent to 695 million. China has become a major source of revenue for smartphone industry players from Qualcomm Inc to Apple Inc. But, the domestic scene is again lorded over by a clutch of local players, including Oppo Electronics Corp, vivo Communication Technology Co and Huawei Technologies Co.
 
One of the fastest-growing areas in 2016 was ride-hailing, according to the CINIC. That segment is dominated by Didi Chuxing. Users of ride-hailing services such as Didi's leapt 38 percent to 168 million in the second half of 2016, from the first half. There were also 225 million people who used an app only to call taxis.
...