China Press Review – April 10, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus: Western economies slow to react to crisis, says leading economist
The coronavirus was “taken a little more lightly” by western economies compared to those in Asia, says a former IMF chief economist.   Raghuram Rajan said western economies are facing a drop in growth by as much as 6 percentage points this year.  The widespread closure of businesses is having a huge financial impact as governments prevent the virus spread.

Asia week ahead: How bad was 1Q20 for China’s economy?
China’s GDP report for the first quarter will provide some sense of the damage the pandemic has inflicted on economies in that part of the world

Is China’s Economy Poised for a Comeback in Q2?
pandemic, China is well into its recovery process, and economists in the country are brimming with optimism of a second quarter rebound. This forecast comes after China may experience its worst first quarter since the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976.This, in turn, is applying pressure on the government’s shoulders to do what’s necessary in order to get the economy back on track. This includes addressing a growing unemployment problem.“A second quarter bounce back would also leave the door open, if only a crack, for the Chinese Communist Party to achieve its goal of doubling the size of gross domestic product (GDP) between 2010 and 2020 – a target that analysts estimate would require a minimum growth rate of 5.6 per cent for the full-year,” a South China Morning Post report noted. “The economy’s performance in the second quarter – the period from April to June – will be crucial for the government to get the economy back on track, analysts at Citic Securities, the country’s largest brokerage, wrote in a research note published on Tuesday.” “The second quarter might be an important turning point, as there will be a significant rebound of economic activity from the first quarter,” Citic analysts Zhu Jianfang and Cheng Qiang said. “In the third and fourth quarters, the headline economic growth rate could return to the normal track of 6 per cent or higher.”

China Confronts Major Risk of Debt Crisis on the Belt and Road Due to Pandemic
Debt distress along the Belt and Road will be serious threat to China’s own financial sustainability and to the operations of Chinese companies overseas.

China’s financial data see huge rebound in March
China’s Q1 financial data came in better than expected on Friday, supported by huge rebounds in new loans and social financing last month.   Analysts with the People’s Bank of China attributed the recovery to policy adjustments that helped real economy get back on track as coronavirus was gradually brought under control.    New yuan-denominated loans topped 2.8 trillion yuan or 400 billion U.S. dollars in March – a substantial increase both on month and on year.

China factory gate deflation deepens as coronavirus paralyses global economy
China’s factory gate prices fell the most in five months in March, with deflation deepening and set to worsen in coming months as the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus outbreak at home and worldwide shuts down many countries.

To Help Save the US Economy – and Lives – End the China Tariffs Now
Leaving the tariffs in place will exacerbate the already enormous strain under which the U.S. economy is now laboring.   COVID-19, apart from its staggering and rapidly escalating human toll, is spawning an American (as well as global) economic crisis of almost unimaginable proportions. Authoritative U.S. analysts predict that this pandemic will to one degree or another negatively affect up to 80 million jobs, of the country’s roughly 153 million, and deal a potential 30 percent body blow to second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

China mulls 4 tril. yuan in special bonds to boost virus-hit economy
China may issue special government bonds worth 4 trillion yuan ($565.7 billion) to prop up the country’s economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

China’s US$1 trillion consumer loan bubble is bursting as army of borrowers flinch under pandemic strain
Fuelled by a shift towards leveraged spending, China’s consumer finance expanded 10-fold in the past decade  Lenders now face a wave of delinquencies as businesses fold and job losses hit repayment ability

Coronavirus: demand shock to ‘add frost to the snow’, as China’s trade economy struggles to recover
China set to feel force of an up to 32 per cent slowdown in global trade, according to World Trade Organisation calculations  Officials in Beijing increasingly open about the coming shock to the Chinese economy from the virus containment efforts elsewhere

China vows to unleash deep market-oriented reforms in new policy directive as economic uncertainty grows
The Chinese Communist Party has vowed to deepen market-oriented reform in key sectors of the economy, from land management to labour     Policy comes as China faces increasing headwinds, including the possible realignment of global value chains after the coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: China claims stimulus ‘10 times more efficient’ than US Fed, as new loans top US$1 trillion
New loans in China topped US$1 trillion in the first three months of the year, but People’s Bank stops short of all-out stimulus   Central banker told press conference in Beijing that China’s monetary response ‘10 times’ more efficient than US Federal Reserve

China Telecom should be banned from operating in US, departments say
State, Defence, Justice and other departments tell FCC firm poses ‘unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks’    China Mobile, another state-owned telecoms firm, was denied right to provide services in US in May over espionage fears

Why markets are making a big mistake in assuming the coronavirus threat is receding and betting on recovery
While the virus-induced slide into global recession was rapid, the resumption of economic activity will be anything but   Markets have seized on signs that infection rates are slowing, but actual economic recovery remains a distant prospect

How China could use this moment to charge ahead with its geopolitical agenda
China and coronavirus: evaluating the policy response China, the world’s second largest economy, is under threat as the pandemic wipes out jobs and slows productivity and growth.   But even with the economic setback, that’s not stopping Beijing from doubling down on its geopolitical agenda.

China’s pig industry will rise like a phoenix
China was hit hard by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks in 2018 and 2019. Most estimates indicate a pig industry size reduction of more than 50%. What does that mean for the years to come? China will come back for sure, but how quickly, and what will the impact be? Richard A. Brown, a director of Gira, explains.

McKinsey: The Luxury Goods Industry During And After Coronavirus
Stabilizing the business during the crisis is crucial — but management must not lose sight of the longer term.  Amid the coronavirus pandemic, every company’s first priority is, of course, to protect the health and safety of employees, consumers, and business partners. Indeed, luxury companies have pivoted to address urgent public-health needs: factories that produced scarves and perfume now manufacture face masks and hand sanitizer, and many luxury groups have made monetary donations to hospitals and other not-for-profit organizations. At the same time, with millions of people relying on the luxury-goods industry to make a living—from factory workers and retail-store employees to small-town artisans and craftsmen—industry leaders are planning ahead and wrestling with longer-term strategic questions to ensure the survival of their businesses.    In this article, we discuss the impact of the crisis on the luxury-goods sector. We then recommend two sets of priorities for industry executives: short-term actions for “navigating the now” and longer-term considerations for shaping the future.

Tesla and Nio buck EV sales slump
The slump in sales for China’s EVs continued in March, but were still four times better than February. Tesla accounted for over 20% of the total market share, the country’s top industry body said on Thursday.   The latest sales figures show that China’s EV market, hit hard first by subsidy cuts and then by the Covid-19 outbreak, is now on the mend.

China is investing RMB 10 billion in EV charging infrastructure
China has pledged to step up efforts to maintain its global leadership in the EV adoption race, planning to invest RMB 10 billion this year to expand the already world largest EV charging network, a top government official said on Thursday.

Luxury brands bid adieu to Hong Kong amid coronavirus and unrest
Louis Vuitton, Prada and Valentino close flagship stores as tourists vanish

TikTok pledges $250M in cash for Covid-19 relief
TikTok announced on Thursday that they are committed to playing its role in the mutual support and giving efforts and provide concrete relief to those most affected by this crisis.

Container shipping lines cancel hundreds of sailings to stem losses as Covid-19 pandemic hits global trade
The number of blanked sailings jumped last week from 45 to 212, according to a report by shipping consultancy Sea-Intelligence     The Alliance, comprising four container shipping majors, has cancelled 32 scheduled departures this month amid falling demand

When it comes to yield, China’s publicly traded companies stand out compared to government bonds
The spread between the yield on China’s 10-year government bonds and the dividend yield on the CSI 300 Index narrows to a record low of 0.27 percentage points
Shenwan Hongyuan says the run-up in bonds will probably end in the second quarter after yield is driven to an all-time low

China has won PR war against US over Covid-19
Both countries are spinning tales full of falsehoods, but what is undeniable is that one side has the disease under control while the other is still waiting, in horror, for it to peak

How the Wuhan experience could help coronavirus battle in US and Europe
Protocols developed at the pandemic’s first hotspot could guide health care workers in the US and Europe as they struggle with the same issues     An infectious disease specialist who set up safe zones in Wuhan’s hospitals shares what he learned on the front line

South Korean scientists map coronavirus genome, paving way for vaccine and better tests
A team led by V. Narry Kim, one of the country’s most prominent researchers, has shed more light on the virus that causes Covid-19  She says the breakthrough will help scientists understand how it replicates and escapes the human defence system

Volunteers needed for second phase of China coronavirus vaccine trial
Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics is recruiting 500 people for the second stage of the country’s main prospect for a preventive injection for Covid-19    This time participants will be able to remain at home rather than have to stay in one facility for two weeks

Coronavirus: Should the world worry about Singapore’s virus surge?
Singapore had been a master class in how to handle the Covid-19 outbreak. Before the disease even had a name, the country had stringent travel restrictions and an efficient contact-tracing operation which contained the virus’s spread.   But in recent days, the number of confirmed cases has rocketed. Thursday brought the highest day of new infections to date at 287, up from 142 the day before.

In the battle against the coronavirus, East Asian societies and cultures have the edge
In real numbers, East Asian economies like China and South Korea are handling the crisis better than Western countries, in large part, it would seem, because of their strong traditions of Confucianism and Buddhism and sense of shared responsibility

Coronavirus: Japan eases into ‘soft lockdown’ amid concerns Abe has not done enough
Almost 60 million residents in major urban hubs under a state of emergency have been urged to only leave their homes if it is essential   But the prime minister has been criticised for seeming to prioritise Japan’s economy over the health of its people

Covid-19 pandemic is a call to arms for Asean to do more, not a death knell of regional unity
The spike of coronavirus cases is a failure of some governments rather than a dereliction of duty by Asean    Southeast Asia’s interconnectedness demands a coordinated regional response, and Asean must develop strategies for future outbreaks

Chinese Long March-3B rocket fails during launch of Indonesian satellite
Malfunction happened during third stage of launch after earlier stages were completed successfully, state media says    Failed mission is second in less than a month after Long March-7A encountered problems after lift-off on March 16

White House faces heightened scrutiny over media reports of coronavirus intelligence in November
Media reports say US intelligence started tracking an illness in China in November    The National Centre for Medical Intelligence denies the existence of a coronavirus-related assessment that month

Nailing the perfect handshake no longer crucial to getting a job in China, with hiring done via a screen
This is the sixth in a series on the impact of the coronavirus on China’s technology sector  China has launched nationwide online recruitment initiatives as it grapples with unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic

Elite Chinese Dissident Shows Limits to Xi’s Power
‘Big Cannon’ tweaks chairman’s nose

Female frontline workers in China typical of coronavirus economic and domestic burden on women: report
Domestic violence and inequality are issues facing Asia-Pacific women during pandemic, says UN Women report   Women and girls disproportionately affected by health, education and labour-related hardship

Verifying Certificates for Masks, Gloves, and Other PPE from China
These days, it seems everybody has jumped on the same ‘PPE’ bandwagon. In China, hundreds (maybe thousands) of manufacturers have seized this opportunity. Many of them have zero experience in the medical field, or in any regulated industry for that matter. And, all over the world, buyers are looking for personal protective equipment (PPE) and related medical products. Again, a minority of them have a full understanding of the implications of what they are getting into. The result? A lot of products shipped without the necessary evidence, a lot of product that is blocked and can’t be exported out of China, or many imported products that are found to be non-conforming and go directly to the trash, and, potentially, more people who get infected!! We have responded to many questions and requests from our clients about what is required, and we decided it was time to document it all in an easy-to-consume manner. Starting with face masks — both a high-demand and high-risk item.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
Place Sainctelette 2
1080 Bruxelles
Tél 02 421 85 09 – Fax 02 421 87 75
Copyright © 2020 awex, All rights reserved