China GDP: first quarter growth tipped to jump above 20 per cent following historic contraction last year
China’s first quarter economic growth rate is forecast to be above 20 per cent from a year earlier, following a 6.8 per cent contraction in the first three months of 2020. But China’s unbalanced recovery from the coronavirus pandemic remains at risk and growth for the January-March period is expected to the year’s highest.
China draws 43.8% more foreign investment in Q1
After surpassing the US as the world’s biggest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2020, China continues to see rapid growth in foreign investment this year, as confidence in the country’ growth prospect and opening-up further improves. In the first three months of the year, China drew 10,263 new foreign-invested businesses, up 47.8 percent year-on-year and 6.7 percent from the pre-pandemic level in 2019, according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on Thursday.
Why China can’t afford to tighten economic policy just yet
China’s growth in 2020 was driven by fixed-asset investment and exports. This is not ideal To achieve higher growth in 2021, China needs a larger increase in infrastructure investment, and the government may have to issue more bonds than planned
China to raise proportion of middle-income earners
China’s consumption has been on a continuous rise in recent years, and its consumption structure is also being optimized. Last year, the country’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached 39.2 trillion yuan ($6 trillion), and final consumption contributed 54.3 percent to China’s GDP. As a result, China maintained its position as the second largest consumption market of the world. New business forms such as online shopping and influencer marketing experienced rapid development. In 2020, a total of over 24 million livestream shows were aired on e-commerce platforms; online sales of national entity bucked the trend and grew 14.8 percent; the express delivery industry handled 31.2 percent more parcels than it did a year ago. China has become the world’s largest market of online retailing for eight consecutive years.
US-Europe ties will not snap back just because Biden is president
A return to the way things were is impossible Europe may consider China a national security threat, but hopes to cooperate economically in areas of mutual interest with Beijing, as shown in the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment they signed in December. It is hard to work closely together when you cannot even agree on who your friends and who your enemies are. And without an external threat to unite them, the trans-Atlantic relationship drifts further apart. European leaders are happy to see a more traditional president like Biden back in the White House. But the relief that Trump is gone does not provide a basis for a strong relationship. The trans-Atlantic alliance is in decline, and so too the Western-led world order with it. The sooner both sides understand that, the sooner they can begin building the new architecture required for a stronger, lasting relationship.
China is growing threat but internal issues may undercut its rise, top US intelligence officials say
China employing ‘comprehensive approach to demonstrate its growing strength and compel regional neighbours to acquiesce’, says national intelligence director The open testimony follows the annual threat assessment of the US intelligence community, which ranked China as the top threat
China’s company finance chiefs see business improving in 2021 as world emerges from pandemic, Deloitte survey finds
Nine out of 10 CFOs at companies operating in China expect their businesses to improve this year Half of them are more upbeat about the Chinese economy than they were six months ago
China trade: B2B e-commerce booms as world looks to get back outside and resume ‘normal life’
Demand for household products and outdoor sporting goods through online Chinese B2B channels surged during the first quarter, surpassing demand for masks and sanitisers Despite ongoing trade tensions and the global economic softening caused by the pandemic, China’s B2B trade continues to defy barriers “I think if you look at B2B globally, it is a market in the trillions, not billions. It is what my colleague describes as ‘the dark matter’; it’s everywhere,” she said. Chinese consumer insight research group iResearch said B2B – which dominates about 70 per cent of China’s e-commerce cross-border industry, with the rest being business-to-consumer trade – is expected to grow more than 25 per cent a year until 2025.
US envoy John Kerry starts climate talks in China
Diplomats are discussing China-US cooperation on climate measures. The talks come ahead of a virtual summit of world leaders later this month. The trip marks the highest-level trip to China so far for officials of the Biden administration. Kerry’s visit is seen as a chance to put aside existing political tensions and focus on areas of potential climate collaboration. His visit comes amid heightened agitation over human rights, trade and China’s territorial claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea.
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said the discussions, which will run through Saturday in Shanghai, aim to boost cooperation on climate change, and exchange views on thie United Nations climate change conference for this year, known as COP26. The ministry said Kerry would be meeting with China’s top climate negotiator, fellow veteran diplomat Xie Zhenhua.
John Kerry’s Shanghai visit tests whether US and China can cooperate and disagree at the same time
The bipolar nature of the current US-China relationship is on full display this week, as envoys from Washington land in both Taipei and Shanghai, prompting Beijing to issue angry rebukes and hopes for greater engagement respectively
China gives green light to five nuclear units to cut carbon and aim for climate goals, sources say
State Council approved nuclear projects to be developed by China National Nuclear Corporation at a meeting on Wednesday Safety official says nuclear power is necessary if China aims to have carbon emissions peak by 2030 and for the nation to be carbon neutral by 2060
China ‘must shut 600 coal-fired plants’ to hit climate target
Move towards renewables to hit net zero by 2060 would also pay off with saving of $1.6tn, analysis finds
China pledged to cut emissions, then went on a coal spree
In 2019, 58% of the country’s total energy consumption came from coal, which helps explain why China accounts for 28% of all global CO2 emissions.
Global chip shortage could persist until 2022, TSMC warns
Net profit for Taiwan chipmaker rises 20% amid unprecedented demand The chip shortage that is crippling swaths of global industry could extend into next year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said on Thursday as the world’s biggest contract semiconductor maker unveiled bumper quarterly profits.
U.S. hearing on China competition told research funding falling behind
U.S. investment in research and development has reached its lowest level in decades while soaring in the rest of the world, the head of a U.S. Senate committee warned at a hearing on proposed subsidies to the tech industry to help the United States better compete with China. Senate Commerce committee chair Maria Cantwell told the committee on Wednesday the proposed “Endless Frontier Act” had been the stimulus for a big debate about America’s competitiveness. Federal investment in research and development is at its lowest in 45 years when measured against GDP, Cantwell said.
US-China tech war: Lawmakers told US research funding falling behind China
The Senate Commerce committee chair warns that federal investment in R&D is at its lowest in decades The Endless Frontier Act was first proposed last year to advance US technology efforts
US-China tech war: ASML CEO says controlling chip sales to China won’t work
CEO of the Dutch semiconductor equipment maker says China will develop its own tool eventually Company cannot sell advanced chip equipment to Chinese firms because of US-China trade tensions
US-China tech war: China becomes world’s top semiconductor equipment market as Beijing pushes local chip industry
Taiwan was the second-largest market last year with sales of US$17.15 billion ASML CEO believes export controls on China will fail to halt the country’s technological progress, and will also hurt the US economy China’s emergence as the world’s top market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, which includes wafer processing, assembly, packaging and testing, comes at a time when the nation is aggressively investing in new semiconductor plants and facilities as part of a long term goal of reducing its reliance on US-origin technology. The Chinese government has showered the domestic chip sector with favourable policies, from tax rebates to state subsidies, for any new plant capable of producing chips at the 28nm node or lower, to fast track its semiconductor industry development.
Analysis: Why is Beijing hounding Jack Ma and Alibaba again?
Wielding of newly created rules to penalize e-tailer hints at political motive But as Xi aims to extend his reign, he needs to take control of the economic realm, as he has done with the political domain. Ma sensed the dangerous nature of the Xi era early on and decided to retire from the front line of running Alibaba despite being relatively young. He now appears in public much less frequently than he used to. There are concerns about Ma’s future. “Even if he is safe now,” one pundit said, “there is no guarantee that he will remain so in the future.” Many influential business leaders have suddenly been sent to prison over the past eight years. Among them is Wu Xiaohui, the top official of Anbang Insurance Group, a private insurer that grew rapidly into the third-biggest player in China. Wu was detained shortly before the party’s national congress in 2017. He was eventually sentenced to 18 years behind bars. Like Ma, Wu is a Zhejiang-born entrepreneur, one who had remarried the granddaughter of former Chinese supreme leader Deng Xiaoping. As Wu’s case clearly shows, connections to princelings or second-generation reds do not necessarily guarantee safety in the Xi era.
Jack Ma’s double-whammy marks end of China tech’s golden age
The country’s government imprinted its authority indelibly on the country’s technology industry in the span of a few days. The most amorphous yet dire threat lies in the simple principle implicit in regulators’ pronouncements over the past few days: that Beijing will brook no monopolies that threaten its hold on power. The central bank warned in draft rules released previously that any non-bank payment company with half of the market for online transactions — or two entities with a combined two-thirds share — could be subject to antitrust probes. If a monopoly is confirmed, the State Council or cabinet has powers to levy a plethora of penalties, including breaking up the entity. That’s an entrepreneur’s ultimate nightmare. “Everyone is on the regulators’ radar, and it really depends on each one’s reaction next,” Chanson & Co.’s Shen said. “It’s better to take the initiative to self-rectify, rather than having to go through restructuring ordered by the regulators, which may not have your best interests in mind.”
Tencent, Alibaba’s Hema, Didi pledge to comply with anti-monopoly rules
Tencent, Didi Chuxing, and Alibaba’s grocery unit joined Chinese tech peers in promising on Thursday to uphold rules against anticompetitive behavior amid a sweeping crackdown across the sector that began with e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Alibaba eases Tmall store rules after pledging better merchant support
E-commerce platform Tmall said that it will change its store-opening policies in an effort to lower merchant costs, just days after Chinese regulators penalized parent company Alibaba for anticompetitive behavior. This change in store-opening rules is the first since 2009 for Alibaba’s B2C e-commerce platform. It follows a record RMB 18.2 billion ($2.8 billion) fine levied on Alibaba on Saturday for “forced exclusivity,” a practice where platforms pressure merchants to use only one company’s platform or services.
Hong Kong and China stocks fall as Alibaba breaks three-day winning run, Kuaishou plunges
Hang Seng Index dropped 0.4 as Alibaba halted a three-day winning run Kuaishou plunged 7.8 per cent to HK$240, reaching its lowest level since its Hong Kong debut in February
Can China’s Huawei transform itself from hardware giant into a leading services provider with cloud?
Huawei began its cloud business in 2010 but the unit only began to grow fast in recent years The cloud business is less dependent on chips but faces stiff competition from Alibaba and Tencent
Lenovo still tops global PC market in first quarter of 2021
China’s Lenovo maintained its position as the world’s largest personal computer (PC) vendor in the first quarter of 2021 with a market share of 25.1%, as the company tightened its grip on its supply chains amid a global chip shortage, according to research firm Gartner, reported Caixin. In the first three months of the year, Lenovo shipped 17.5 million PCs, including desktops, laptops and ultramobile premiums, representing a year-on-year increase of 42.3%, the highest among the world’s top six sellers, according to Gartner.
Taiwan tells Biden emissaries it will counter China’s ‘adventurous manoeuvres’ with U.S
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen told emissaries visiting at U.S. President Joe Biden’s request on Thursday that the island would work with the United States to deter threats from Chinese military activities.
Sino-US rivalry and the myth of Thucydides Trap
Thucydides traps is a china-bashing myth. Biden is a whiff of fresh air, though he has no magic wand to change the climate and trade atmosphere. He has promised to rebuild America’s decrepit infrastructure, spend more on health and education, and ease immigration. He has pledged to raise tax on firms and the wealthy. He is no revolutionary though his policies are tilted to the left of what Trump did. His job is to re-unite fractious American democracy. He is inclined to shun the personalized style of his predecessor’s rule, scorning decency and truth. Joe understands China better than his predecessor. But, it remains to be seen how the USA would set right the topsy-turvy alliances that Trump had interwoven. Confrontation with China will make it difficult for Biden to deliver his promises to the American electorate.
Exclusive: Why Trump went hard on China, and Biden will follow
It was clear that coping with the threat from an increasingly aggressive China would require a major shift in U.S. policy from cooperation and engagement to transparent competition. Contrary to the hopes of many Americans since the opening to China in the 1970s, China had evolved into a dangerous strategic rival rather than a “responsible stakeholder” in the international order
US Senate’s bipartisan swing at China faces Republican curveballs
The two parties’ interests overlap considerably on Beijing, but their accord could wither in the heat of a 50-50 chamber A historic bill aimed at countering China’s global influence is in danger thanks to a behind-the-scenes Republican effort
Chinese students pay agents US$12,000 for shot at Wall Street
Career consulting firms are offering an inside track to those who can afford it, promising to help land internships and jobs The agencies also hire industry mentors, who can make US$100 or more an hour, to help with strategy, networking, drafting letters and even internal referrals
Xinjiang cotton ban, forced labour claims push China to step up plans for domestic Better Cotton Initiative
Switzerland-based Better Cotton Initiative, launched to promote good practice in cotton industry, has been pressured over its handling of forced labour claims in Xinjiang Plans for the Weilai Cotton, or future cotton, project were made two years ago but were accelerated in January when the Better Cotton Initiative cut off ties with Xinjiang
EU mulls end to extradition treaties with China over Hong Kong electoral reform, but not every member state agrees
Sources say proposal to suspend extradition treaties with Beijing will face resistance from some member states Foreign ministers will meet on Monday to announce light touch measures but tougher proposals are still under discussion
Coronavirus vaccines: China’s CanSino distances itself from blood clot fears
Company tells investors there have been no reports of the serious adverse reactions after 1 million doses Authorities in Europe and US are investigating possible links between adenovirus-vectored vaccines, like the CanSino product, and blood clots
China’s 2021 Resolution: No More Ugly Buildings
Urban structures should be functional, green, and pleasant to look at, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
The Not-So-Dysfunctional Lives of China’s ‘Left-Behind’ Children
Contrary to popular portrayals of broken families, kids in migrant households want to make their parents’ sacrifices pay off. They just face bigger barriers to doing so.
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