China Press Review – April 17, 2019

Press review

China economy off to strong start in 2019 as stimulus steps offset trade war impact
All major economic indicators released by Beijing on Wednesday point to bottoming out of Chinese economy Headline growth of 6.4 per cent in the first quarter stronger than expected, matching the previous quarter

China economy: First quarter growth beats expectations at 6.4%
China’s economy grew slightly faster than expected in the three months to March, official figures released Wednesday showed.

US and China in ideological battle for the future, defence official says
Cooperative steps with allies under consideration to counter expanded Chinese footprint in Asia and Europe Competing interests among European countries make working strategies difficult, analysts say

US firms less keen to make China’s case because of Beijing’s failures to live up to its promises, American Chamber of Commerce warns
Report highlights long-standing grievances over market access and warns that repeated failures to live up to commitments are undermining trust

U.S. businesses no longer ‘positive anchor’ for U.S.-China relations – chamber
Frustrated U.S. businesses can no longer be counted on as a “positive anchor” in U.S.-China relations, a top U.S. business lobby said on Wednesday, arguing any deal to end trade tensions must address structural problems in China’s economic system.

China Per Capita Consumption in Q1 2019
In the first quarter, the per capita consumption expenditure of the national residents was 5,538 yuan, a 7.3% increase over the same period of the previous year. After deducting the price factor, the actual increase was 5.4%.

People’s Bank of China – the country’s central bank – suggests it will stem flood of money into economy
People’s Bank of China has shown a preference for restraint, in a quarterly monetary policy document that suggests major moves towards easing are unlikely Subtle shift from policy of pumping funds into the fragile economy over recent months, which has helped stimulate some sectors

China’s Economy Stabilizes After Beijing Opens the Bank Vaults
New figures suggest the Chinese slowdown is bottoming out. Credit goes to a wave of lending, but economists warn that debt-fueled growth can’t continue.

Shanghai share index rallies to 12-month high following quarterly economic data indicating growth upswing
Shanghai Composite Index gains 0.3 per cent to close at 3,263.12, its highest level since March 22, 2018 Carmakers shine as BYD, FAW Car and Dongfeng Automobile all rise by daily 10 per cent limit

Chinese and US companies fear Donald Trump’s trade war on the car industry
US tariffs on vehicles and parts would reverberate through global car supply chain, with both US and Chinese manufacturers standing to lose out China sells few cars to the US but is the second biggest exporter of parts to the US, after Mexico

Nio executives not worried despite ‘greater than anticipated downturn’ in sales
Executives at electric vehicle manufacturer Nio are putting a positive spin on the company’s future prospects, despite mounting challenges to its business. Talking to the media on Tuesday at industry expo Auto Shanghai, Nio co-founder and executive vice president Jack Cheng said he is not going to worry about the company’s sales performance, which has experienced a “greater than anticipated slowdown,” according to the company’s latest financial results.

Nio executives not worried despite ‘greater than anticipated downturn’ in sales

Amazon reportedly withdrawing from China
Global e-commerce giant Amazon will exit from China, leaving only two businesses—Kindle and the cross-border selling unit—reported a Chinese media outlet citing people with knowledge of the matter. That means Amazon’s logistics unit and cloud service AWS may also be affected. An official statement on the matter will be released later this week, the source said, though a specific date is unknown.

Briefing: Amazon reportedly withdrawing from China

6 Traits of Chinese Middle-Class Millennial Shoppers
In China, 18-30-year-olds currently account for two-thirds of luxury goods sales. Known as millennials, they make up roughly 12 percent of China’s population, or about 174 million people. As the biggest driver of the luxury market, it’s essential for businesses to understand their core values when it comes to luxury consumption.

6 Traits of Chinese Middle-Class Millennial Shoppers

WeChat Leads the Future of Luxury Social E-commerce with Mini Program
Users are dominated by women and Chinese millennials: About half of the users are under 30 years of age, which is also a match with the luxury brands’ targeted consumers.

WeChat Leads the Future of Luxury Social E-commerce with Mini Program

Tmall launches new gateway for product debuts
Alibaba Group’s B2C e-commerce marketplace Tmall on Wednesday launched a new dedicated gateway for consumers to find new products on its sister Mobile Taobao app.

“China is fast becoming the world’s creative superpower”
The design world flocked to Milan last week for its design week. But soon the action will shift to China, which is about to leapfrog the west when it comes to architecture and design, predicts Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs.

“China is fast becoming the world’s creative superpower”

Head of China’s biggest state firm in Hong Kong urges Beijing to deepen market reforms
Fu Yuning, chairman of China Resources Group, says competition is necessary for state enterprises to reform themselves and emerge stronger on the global stage

No Huawei 5G chips for Apple after settling Qualcomm dispute
Apple and Qualcomm reached a settlement on Tuesday to drop all litigation over patent royalties that extended over two years, clearing the way for the American electronics maker to use Qualcomm’s 5G chips in its new iPhones.Apple is reportedly planning to purchase 5G modem chips from Qualcomm for use in its 2020 iPhones. Nikkei Asian Review quoted a source as saying that Apple will purchase modem chips, including 5G, from the chipmaker for iPhones in 2020 after the deal is finalized.

No Huawei 5G chips for Apple after settling Qualcomm dispute

Spurned by the West, Huawei should nurture research in Chinese universities instead
The tech giant should plant the seeds of research collaboration with Chinese institutions, even if they are less renowned than their counterparts in the West, and take the opportunity to improve the transparency of its guidelines

Huawei delays smart TV launch, software system “not ready”
Huawei has decided to postpone the launch of its smart TV as “it still needs to be polished,” (our translation) according to a supply chain executive in Huawei’s television business cited by Chinese media outlet Jiemian. The executive added that the software system was “not yet ready,” referring to a product that the company aims to expand in collaboration with other TV manufacturers. Huawei consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong said in a press event last week that the company’s intelligent TV product may not be launched in the first half of this year.

Briefing: Huawei delays smart TV launch, software system “not ready”

Greenpeace Study Shines Light on China’s Polluted Soils
Pioneering study shows how local governments push through lucrative land sales prior to decontaminating them.

Chinese cities reliant on land sales rushing through clean-ups at polluted sites, study finds
Researchers from Greenpeace and Nanjing University find ‘strong motive to sell land and do remediation as quickly as possible’ in some big cities Study highlights how rapid redevelopments could mean a higher risk of secondary soil pollution for new occupants

Has the Belt and Road Initiative Become a Political Liability for China?
Given the international community’s ambivalent attitude toward the so-called Belt and Road Initiative, the world will be closely watching the second BRI Forum, which is due to be held April 26-27 in Beijing. Two years after the first BRI summit, which was greeted with enthusiasm by the developing world, things have changed rather quickly.

Ask China Anything: Do you support a 996 work schedule?
Chinese workers are responding to Github protests over China’s grueling “996” work schedule, with many expressing wariness about whether the protest can change China’s long-lasting overtime work culture. At some Chinese companies, overtime work is obligatory but not officially so.

Ask China Anything: Do you support a 996 work schedule?

China pork prices could rise 70 per cent this year, with millions of animals facing cull
Expected rise in pork prices boosts shares of Chinese meat processing companies African Swine Fever could lead to consolidation in industry, says Rabobank

Technology stops endangered plant, animal smuggling in China
Customs of Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, said that high-tech equipment has significantly helped stop wildlife smuggling. In the first quarter of this year, Chengdu customs investigated more than 400 smuggling cases of endangered plant and animal species, including 246 cases involving ivory products weighing more than 20 kg. founder Richard Liu sued for alleged rape by Minnesota student Liu Jingyao
She claims the Chinese billionaire forced himself on her in his vehicle after dinner with other wealthy executives Lawsuit seeks damages of more than US$50,000

Tiktok: India bans video sharing app
Activist group launched case against Chinese-owned app

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