China Press Review – April 13, 2018

Press review

China’s trade surplus narrows 21.8% in Q1
China’s goods trade surplus shrank 21.8 percent in the first quarter of this year as the country saw a better balance of trade, customs data showed on Friday.

China’s trade surplus with U.S. soars in first quarter but March exports falter
China’s trade surplus with the United States surged nearly 20 percent in the first quarter, with some analysts speculating exporters were rushing out shipments to get ahead of threatened tariffs that are spurring fears of a full-blown trade war.

China urges patience as its trade surplus with US surges
China’s trade surplus with the United States surged by a fifth in the first three months of the year, with China calling Friday on Washington to be patient as tensions between the economic superpowers simmer.

China’s trade surplus with U.S. soars in first quarter but March exports falter
China’s trade surplus with the United States surged nearly 20 percent in the first quarter, with some analysts speculating exporters were rushing out shipments to get ahead of threatened tariffs that are spurring fears of a full-blown trade war.

China records rare trade deficit … but surplus with US still looms large despite Donald Trump’s trade war threats
Chinese exports fall back unexpectedly in March but prospect of US tariffs fails to alter trade balance between world’s two largest economies

China and US in backstage talks to avoid trade war, says OECD boss
Angel Gurria stresses that no one will win in a trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies

Is Trump Serious About Trade War? China’s Leaders Hunt for Answers
Some of the most powerful men in China have been seeking out experts to gain a better understanding of how to respond to President Trump’s combative trade agenda.

Did China Blink?
They Deny Xi’s Speech Was Concession to Trump

Did China Blink?

Donald Trump is a ‘demagogue’ whose China tariffs are punishing ordinary US citizens, says American economist Joseph Stiglitz
World-renowned economist said the US president’s moves toward an all-out trade war with China will result in a ‘pervasive tax’ that will hit America’s poor hardest

Beijing should use ‘first rate’ economic team to launch reforms, former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson says
With Liu He and Yi Gang in the fold, the time is ripe for China to deliver the reforms that Western leaders have been demanding for decades, the former US treasury secretary argued

Meet the Chinese farmers delighted by prospect of US trade war
Threat of import tariffs on US produced soybeans likely to prove a boon to Chinese producers

US official accuses China of ‘industrial cyber spying’ amid looming trade war
Gilbert Kaplan, an international trade undersecretary at the US Commerce Department, told a conference that China is ‘engaging in commercial cyber espionage’, but offered no details

Trump’s Trade War Is About Trump, Not China
Those China tariffs aren’t surprising. What’s bizarre are the people praising Trump’s recklessness and reviving his political fortunes.

Trump’s Trade War Is About Trump, Not China

US-China trade war offers Beijing a historic opportunity to forge a new global order
Tian Feilong says the trade stand-off with the US is a test of China’s capabilities. It is a hurdle it must overcome to realise its goal of national rejuvenation and its vision of a ‘community of common destiny’

Trump to reconsider joining TPP trade pact
US President Donald Trump has said he will only join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) if the deal is “substantially better” than the one offered to President Barack Obama.

Trump Wants Back Into the TPP. Not So Fast, Say Members.
Even longtime allies expressed skepticism after the American president’s comments, saying compromise would have to come from the United States.

China wary after Trump’s U-turn could see US rejoining TPP
US President signals America may sign up to Trans-Pacific Partnership as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing rise

Is Trump Serious About Rejoining TPP?
Partners Need to Consider Whether He is Playing a Short Game

Is Trump Serious About Rejoining TPP?

Hong Kong stocks seesaw as Trump weighs U-turn on Trans-Pacific Partnership
By midday break, benchmark Hang Seng Index was at 30,807.18, down 0.08 per cent

China’s Great Wall of Debt
Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle

China March new loans rebound to 1.12 trln yuan as shadow banking retreats
Chinese banks doled out more loans in March and appeared to make solid progress in reining in off-balance sheet lending that has prompted a sweeping crackdown by regulators looking to reduce systemic financial risks.

China’s central bank to relax commercial banks’ deposit rate ceiling
China’s central bank will relax its informal guidance for the upper limit of commercial banks’ deposit rates, facilitating the market liberalization of interest rates, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

An advanced economy requires ideas, interaction, and competition – all things that Beijing is shutting down and turning away from

At The Boao Forum, Xi Unveils His Vision For The Global Economy
China’s leaders want the world to know that they are serious about economic reform and opening. Speaking April 10 at the Boao Forum for Asia — his first major international event since extending his rule — Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined some of his biggest reform initiatives yet. The changes include measures to liberalize his country’s restrictive financial, services and automotive industries; to increase imports by “significantly” lowering tariffs on goods such as automobiles; and to strengthen protections on intellectual property. In addition, Xi announced the establishment of a free trade port that will offer a more relaxed regulatory environment than even the free trade zone in Shanghai. Xi used his measured reform agenda to answer, albeit indirectly, some of the concerns the United States has expressed in its escalating trade dispute with China. But the speech wasn’t just Beijing’s response to Washington; it was a message to the world about Xi’s larger aspirations for his office, and for his country

China GDP Will Signal Yuan Is Doing Just Fine and May Even Rally
Forget yuan devaluation. Key Chinese growth data next week may even support the case for more appreciation, particularly after President Xi Jinping’s remarks this week to further open up the economy.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority buys HK$3.26 billion to support local currency
HKMA deputy Howard Lee warns homeowners to ‘be mindful’ of their mortgage repayment obligations as city’s monetary conditions become tighter

China’s troubled Anbang Insurance is said to interview banks to manage asset sales
Anbang Insurance Group, the troubled Chinese insurer seized by the government, is interviewing investment banks to advise on potential asset divestments, people with knowledge of the matter said.

China Issues National Autonomous Vehicle Rules In Bid To Catch US
China has released its first national guidelines on road tests for autonomous vehicles, a key step in a wider effort to promote development of the technology. The U.S., which is currently well ahead of China in terms of AV testing, currently depends on regulations at the state level.

China Issues National Autonomous Vehicle Rules In Bid To Catch US

China’s Auto Brands Are Coming To America
Cracking the American auto market is a challenge for any company, no matter how strong. Meeting the strict emissions and safety requirements of U.S. regulators; developing a national dealer and service network, and overcoming the quality concerns of consumers are all daunting challenges by themselves. Taking together, they are a tough package, to say nothing of any potential difficulties caused by the trade tensions that now exist in the Sino-American relationship. Nonetheless, GAC’s experience may be the first real test as to whether a Chinese car company can succeed in selling its cars in the United States.

Tencent, Changan Automobile Launch Connected Vehicle Platform Joint Venture
Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has set up a joint venture with Chinese automobile manufacturer Changan Automobile Co., Ltd. to co-develop autonomous driving technologies and connected vehicle platforms

Tencent, Changan Automobile Launch Connected Vehicle Platform Joint Venture

Tencent Looking To Acquire $485M Stake In Chinese Bullet Train WiFi Operator
Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings will bid for a stake in the company that provides WiFi services on China’s bullet trains in a deal worth more than RMB3.05 billion (US$485 million). Bullet Train Networks Technology Ltd., owned by the national railway operator China Railway Corporation, has announced plans to sell a 49% share in the company for least RMB3.05 billion (US$485 million) on the Beijing Equity Exchange, as part of China’s mixed ownership reform.

Tencent Looking To Acquire $485M Stake In Chinese Bullet Train WiFi Operator

China’s Xiaomi Said Eyeing Camera Maker GoPro In Bid To Enter US Market
Shares of American action camera manufacturer GoPro Inc. jumped 8.8% in New York today on news reports that Chinese electronics and software company Xiaomi Inc. is considering making an offer for the U.S. company. The potential acquisition comes as Xiaomi is pushing for U.S. market entry. Xiaomi, valued at US$68 billion on China Money Network’s China Unicorn Ranking, recently launched U.S. online stores that sell electronics products including power banks, cameras, headphones and speakers, but not smartphones. Its phones are expected to enter the U.S. market by next year.

China’s Xiaomi Said Eyeing Camera Maker GoPro In Bid To Enter US Market

If there was a manual about how to launch a successful brand from your living room, Welden’s Sandy Friesen could probably write it. Her small and young handmade handbag company quietly generated nearly $300,000 in gross merchandise volume during a two-day live-streaming event on Alibaba’s C2C marketplace, Taobao.

Signs of smog rebound in China’s heavy-industry heartland as winter cuts expire
Levels of particularly fine particles rise in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area in March with end to curbs in factory output

Netherlands keen on Chinese investment but wants belt and road to benefit foreign companies
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte sees China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ as an opportunity while suggesting more open tendering before meeting Li Keqiang

Europe’s new ‘Eastern bloc’
Beijing’s diplomatic masterstroke has put former Soviet countries on a collision course with Brussels.

Veteran China Banker Warns of Belt and Road Risks
Li points out that many BRI countries hold “limited” attraction for foreign investors due to a lack of preferential policies in areas such as foreign exchange and taxes

More opening-up brings stronger Belt and Road ties
The Ministry of Commerce will accelerate the implementation of opening-up measures that President Xi Jinping pledged at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 and seek enhanced co-operation with Belt and Road economies and international organisations, a top official said on Thursday.

China’s overseas investment should not neglect education
History shows that the Belt and Road initiative will be successful only if it boosts human capital, as well as physical infrastructure, says Alan Ruby

Why Urban Villages Are Essential to Shenzhen’s Identity
Neighborhoods of densely packed ‘handshake buildings’ house the poor and add to the city’s vitality.

State Media Blames Cooking, Secondhand Smoke for Lung Cancer
More nonsmoking women are getting sick, but pollution not identified as part of the problem.

China’s Cultural Confidence Encourages Movie Industry to Go Global: Experts
“China needs its own track to promote its movie industry with soft power. The pattern applied by Western countries can only be a reference,” Liu Chiu-ti, a New York-based Chinese publisher, at a forum hosted by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) in Beijing on Tuesday.

One Belt, One Road, One Abacus
How Shanghai’s math prowess is being exported to the world. Nobody was more curious than the British government, which decided to spend millions on bringing Shanghai’s math approach to thousands of its own primary schools. In 2014, China and the U.K. started a math-focused exchange program that has so far involved more than 500 teachers, and Prime Minister Theresa May announced the partnership’s extension during her visit to China earlier this year. According to Zhang Minxuan, former president of Shanghai Normal University who now leads the exchange project, education officials from Argentina, Brazil, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates have also been in contact about possible bilateral programs.

Chinese public toilets go hi-tech with Wi-fi and facial recognition
Raft of technology installed in public conveniences in two cities as part of national efforts to improve the quality of public loos Facial recognition equipment had been installed at a public toilet at a sports centre in Changsha in Hunan province, the news website reported Each person scanning their face received 40cm of toilet paper from a dispenser, the report said

Alain Gillard
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