China Press Review – April 2, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus: Donald Trump expected to provide some tariff relief, but not for Chinese imports
Trade experts say reduction will probably apply only to goods from countries with Most Favoured Nation status  Business groups and chief executives apply pressure for a tariff reprieve amid coronavirus-related shutdowns

In the protracted coronavirus fight, lockdown fatigue is the most serious market threat
The severity of the economic fallout has put governments in a bind, torn between adopting forceful measures to tackle the public health emergency and keeping the economy grinding along so a brutal global recession does not become a devastating depression

China: Economy remains challenging despite signs of recovery – HSBC
Against the backdrop of a sharp near-term slowdown in economic activity in January-February, investor focus is now on the pace at which China’s economy can return to normal, economists at HSBC brief.

China consumer demand for online services is recovering
A pickup in lifestyle services shows that life is returning to normal in China as cases of Covid-19 level off, and that consumption is increasingly digital, according to data from Chinese payment giant Alipay.   China, once the center of the Covid-19 outbreak, is showing signs of recovering from widespread economic fallout from the Covid-19 across sectors including search queries, offline retail, travel, restaurants to manufacturing

In the Face of Lockdown, China’s E-Commerce Giants Deliver
Let’s look at how two of China’s retail giants rose to the challenge of keeping Wuhan’s quarantined residents supplied during their two-month isolation.  Their response is characterized with a high degree of innovation and flexibility in terms of technologies deployed, skills leveraged, processes applied, and the range of products and services provided.

Ant Financial, Vanguard target 900 million users with robo-adviser
The two companies’ robo-adviser will recommend a portfolio selected from 6,000 mutual funds   Users can access the service through payments app Alipay and Ant Fortune, a wealth management platform

Coronavirus: China manufacturing hub Dongguan faces grim test as global export orders vanish
Dongguan, once a hub for labour-intensive manufacturers, is on the frontline of China’s coronavirus manufacturing recovery  But the industrial city is struggling with a second wave demand shock, as the closure of overseas markets hits exports

Baidu to issue $1 billion debt offering
Chinese search firm Baidu is planning a $1 billion note offering to repay existing debts and fund general operations, the company said on Wednesday.   Baidu had a rough 2019 and expects flagging revenue in the first quarter of this year after the fallout from Covid-19, which has infected more than 940,000 people around the world.

Worst yet to come for China’s slumping car market, as coronavirus pandemic takes its toll
Extension of new-energy vehicle subsidies and tax breaks by two years unlikely to boost market: industry observe    Tesla’s locally made Model 3 electric car only bright spot for sector

Electric vehicle subsides in China extended to 2022
China will keep supporting electric car sales for longer than expected to revive the country’s plunging electric vehicle (EV) market, extending purchase subsidies and tax breaks for two more years, China Central Television reported Tuesday.    By handing cash to buyers, subsidies will continue to boost sales for China’s ailing EV makers. The move could also encourage local governments to add further incentive policies, helping the country keep its status as the world’s largest EV market.

US$2 trillion loss estimated for aviation-related industries worldwide from coronavirus pandemic, think tank says
The pandemic’s impact on the wider global aviation industry will be more than 10 times that of airline losses of US$200 billion, founder and president of Institute for Aviation Research says    Airports in Asia-Pacific will see a loss of US$23.9 billion this year as 1.5 billion fewer passengers travel through region’s hubs, Airports Council International says

China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.   China isn’t the only country with suspect public reporting. Western officials have pointed to Iran, Russia, Indonesia and especially North Korea, which has not reported a single case of the disease, as probable under-counts. Others including Saudi Arabia and Egypt may also be playing down their numbers. The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake.

UN will use Tencent’s Zoom challenger for digital event
The company’s Voov video conferencing platform was just launched globally in March.   The United Nations is partnering with Tencent to use its video conferencing and remote work platforms for a digital “global dialogue” to commemorate its 75th anniversary on June 26.

The eyes have it: conjunctivitis could be an overlooked Covid-19 symptom
Eyes can be an entry point for the coronavirus to infect a person, as well as the nose and mouth   Cough, fever and shortness of breath are common symptoms

Chinese cancer drugs developer Innovent joins a crowded field in search of coronavirus cure
Innovent Biologics is working on an antibody drug even as others are developing vaccines because the coronavirus mutates rapidly, says chairman Michael Yu Dechao   Innovent posts annual loss of 1.72 billion yuan (US$242.2 million), while sales of its cancer therapy drug sintilimab jumps to over 1 billion yuan

Covid-19 could be under control by end of April, China’s top respiratory expert says
But it remains to be seen if the coronavirus that causes it will return next spring, says Zhong Nanshan, who heads a team that advises the government on the pandemic    As countries around the world battle their own health crises, one of the best things they can do is make people stay at home, he says

Coronavirus and technology supply chains: How to restart and rebuild
As COVID-19-related restrictions begin to lift in Asia, how can organizations resolve supply-chain issues at pace?

Is airborne coronavirus transmission possible? The WHO urges caution
Covid-19 can be spread by coughs and sneezes, but tiny aerosol particles that linger in the air risk passing it on over a greater distance   Scientists say the possibility cannot be ruled out, but the global health agency says the available evidence does not prove this is the case

Under COVID-19, More Doctors’ Deaths Deemed ‘Work-Related’
Thanks to flexible policy interpretations, the families of frontline medical workers who died while off-duty are being considered for workplace injury compensation.

Asymptomatic Cases Unlikely to Cause COVID-19 Rebound, Expert Says
Zhong Nanshan, China’s leading authority on respiratory diseases, says the country’s strong monitoring system will help isolate individuals without symptoms and contain the virus.

Silent coronavirus carriers ‘unlikely to set off another wave of infections’
Chinese health official says research indicates that patients without symptoms appear to have low viral transmission rates but more investigation needed   Study of about 1,500 close contacts of asymptomatic cases finds only seven infected

Coronavirus nightmare of China’s ‘recovered’ patients
Behind the statistics are stories like Adele Jiang’s, a 24-year-old university student who has repeatedly tested positive for Covid-19   After two months divided between hospital and quarantine, she is hoping for a negative test so she can finally return home

Build-up to coronavirus lockdown: inside China’s decision to close Wuhan
Chinese doctor tells of expert team’s crisis trip to site of disease outbreak    Decision to seal off city and Hubei province was made to curb Lunar New Year travellers

Chinese county goes into coronavirus lockdown as country tries to get back to work amid fear of second wave
Authorities order residents of Jia county to stay home after reports of cases linked to the area’s hospital   All but a few essential businesses and services shut temporarily, according to government notice

Chinese smartphone health code rules post-virus life
Green is the “health code” that says a user is symptom-free and it’s required to board a subway, check into a hotel or just enter Wuhan, the central city of 11 million people where the pandemic began in December.

Lessons from Taiwan’s coronavirus response
When COVID-19 first spread from mainland China to other countries in late January, Taiwan began to gain international attention. The spotlight has shifted from Taiwan’s isolated international status to how it can efficiently manage the spread of COVID-19. An early study conducted by Johns Hopkins University in January indicated that Taiwan could have had the second highest confirmed cases after China. This was due to Taiwan’s close connections with mainland China — there are 400,000 Taiwanese people living there and there have been thousands of cross-strait flights every week.

Buying Face Masks and Other PPE from China: Not For the Faint of Heart, Part 2
In Buying Face Masks and Other PPE from China: Not For the Faint of Heart, we talked about the following as some of the key issues our international product sourcing lawyers were facing on behalf of our clients seeking to buy PPE from China:
Buying Face Masks and Other PPE from China Just Got a LOT Tougher

EU leader Ursula von der Leyen risks Beijing’s ire by lauding Taiwan’s donation of 5.6 million masks for coronavirus battle
‘We really appreciate this gesture of solidarity,’ the European Commission’s president says in a Twitter post    ‘Acts like this show that we are #StrongerTogether,’ she tweets

Italy ‘still proud to be part of EU’ amid stronger ties with China and coronavirus pandemic
Senior Italian foreign affairs official says all economies will need each other in post-coronavirus world Countries will need common approach to revive battered economies, Manlio Di Stefano says In the weeks before Italy joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative last year, top foreign ministry officials in Rome made a flurry of calls to US and European ambassadors, trying to persuade them there was nothing to fear from the relationship with Beijing

China faces Belt and Road course correction after coronavirus
Southeast Asia expected to remain a focus as Beijing prioritizes home front

Nationwide lockdown to cost Indian economy USD 4.64 bn every day: Acuite Ratings
The unprecedented nationwide lockdown that shut businesses, suspended flights and stopped all modes of transport will cost the Indian economy almost USD 4.64 billion every day and the entire 21-day lockdown will result in a GDP loss of almost USD 98 billion, Acuite Ratings & Research Ltd said on Thursday.

Demand for health gadgets surges in coronavirus lockdown, likely to last
Users, insurers and health care providers are all seeing the benefit of health gadgets amid the Covid-19 pandemic      That is galvanising the development of new devices by start-ups and gadget manufacturers in Asia

Cautiously optimistic: Chinese consumer behavior post-COVID-19
Chinese consumers are gradually regaining their confidence as the COVID-19 crisis subsides, suggesting the majority will resume higher levels of spending in some categories over the coming months, according to McKinsey’s latest survey of consumer attitudes. A significant minority, however, is less confident about the future, suggesting many consumer brands will need to work hard to get back to normal. Stronger appetite for online shopping, meanwhile, could persist as the crisis abates, albeit with variations across categories.

A perspective for the luxury-goods industry during—and after—coronavirus
In these uncertain times, luxury-goods companies must take action to “navigate the now,” plan for the recovery, and shape the future.

Luxury Brands Digital Marketing That Worked in China During the COVID-19 Crisis
As COVID-19 spreads around the world at unprecedented speeds, major luxury players have to react quickly to supply chain disruptions, production halts, and store closings on a massive scale. Some have already made short-term changes to prepare for the worst, and since most brands will finish the first half of their financial year by the end of April, many are wondering if a deepening crisis will impact the marketing budget for the year’s second half.

Luxury Brands in China: Beware The Wrath Of Li Jiaqi
Shortly after Hermès launched its widely anticipated line of lipsticks, called Rouge Hermès, with 24 shades in either matte or satin finishes, China’s top beauty influencer, Li Jiaqi (also known as Austin Li), gave the French luxurys brand’s first dip into the lucrative beauty market a scathing review. His Taobao livestream, which attracted over 12 million views, brutally criticized the various shades as “cheap looking,” “unsuitable for Asians,” and “as unflattering as an old mother’s shades.” He snarkily added that Hermès five-year preparation for the line “only served to provide outdated colors used five-years ago.” The clip went viral on Chinese social media, as a host of netizens raved over Li’s honest reviews and firm stance with consumers, leading to the hashtag — TheLookOnLijiaqi’sFace (#李佳琦的表情) — trending on Weibo.

Demonstrating corporate purpose in the time of coronavirus
Companies will define what they do in the crucible of COVID-19 response—or be defined by it. Here’s how to frame the challenge.

In Diplomatic Whipsaw, U.S. and China Seek to Cooperate on Pandemic and Economy
Several of President Trump’s top aides are advising him to work with China, but national security officials are skeptical the truce will hold.

China’s ‘Daigou’ Got Rich Shopping Abroad. Now, They’re Going Broke.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a knockout blow to China’s massive gray market for luxury goods bought overseas.

China’s race to produce ‘super pigs’ destined to fail amid haphazard biosecurity, experts say
China’s pig herd has begun to build again after African swine fever devastated hog populations across the country 18 months ago   Scientists are racing to create disease-resistant pigs, but analysts say that will be undermined by basic hygiene problems in China’s pork industry

Wuhan-Made Rocket Sells for Astronomical Sum via Livestream
The rocket’s developer sees a future in crowdfunded commercial space projects.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX bans Zoom over privacy concerns
The use of Zoom and other digital communications has soared as many Americans have been ordered to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus    The FBI’s Boston office on Monday issued a warning about Zoom, telling users not to make meetings on the site public or share links widely

Coronavirus: How China’s using surveillance to tackle outbreak
The coronavirus pandemic may have emerged in China, but the country now has fewer cases than the US, Italy and Spain. The Chinese government has used tools such as phone tracking to control the outbreak. Other countries are starting to look at similar technological solutions.  But how does China’s controversial surveillance system work and can state intervention on this scale be justified?

Hubei Honors 14 Martyrs of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Among them is Dr. Li Wenliang, the opthalmologist who was punished by police for trying to warn his colleagues about the virus that ultimately

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