China Press Review – April 24, 2020

Press review

Coronavirus: China faces fight to hang onto foreign manufacturers as US, Japan, EU make Covid-19 exit plans
Three of the world’s four largest economies, the United States, Japan and the European Union, are drawing up separate plans to lure their companies out of China   But business figures warn not to conflate political statements with the economic realities of manufacturing

To recover, economies must first reckon with the coronavirus’ longer-term impact
Even with the market gyrations in the short term, investors could look further ahead to pick out bargains
Hong Kong, with huge reserves and a strong currency, is set to weather the storm. Yet, the government favours politics over economics, inhibiting recovery

Coronavirus: China urged to ‘think outside the box’ to help businesses struggling for survival
China’s central bank provided nearly 4 trillion yuan (US$565 billion) of additional funds to spur new lending in the first quarter    But small private sector businesses are still struggling to obtain funds, with many believing direct payments are still a long shot due to the immense size and complexity

Deflation on horizon, China cuts rates further
TMLF reduction augurs for another benchmark cut; yuan likely to come under pressure; Japan expected to begin aggressive easing

EU heading for 5-10% economic contraction in 2020: Breton
The European Union is heading this year towards a 5-10% economic contraction due to the new coronavirus outbreak, EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Friday, adding that figure could get worse if “things don’t get better”. In an interview with France 2 television channel he also said he was optimistic about European leaders eventually working out the details of the trillion emergency fund they agreed upon Thursday.

New Balance wins copyright case against Chinese firm over ‘N’ logo, wins US$1.54 million
New Balance’s win comes after former NBA star Michael Jordan won a copyright infringement case, indicating China is serious on protecting intellectual property    China is in the process of drafting an action plan on IP protection as required under the phase one trade deal with the US

Export controls and the rise of US-China techno-nationalism
Challenges and strategies for tech companies   Even as the world is in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the US and China are locked in an escalating race to control the technologies of the future. This new environment has inspired a philosophy I have described as “techno-nationalism”: mercantilist-like policies, such as export controls, that link a nation’s tech innovation and enterprises directly to its economic prosperity, national security, and social stability.

The Great Wall against China: Understanding India’s new foreign investment rules
The finance ministry on Wednesday notified changes in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) rules which mandate “prior approval” from the Centre for foreign investments from countries “that share border with India”, a move that is widely considered a hedge against Chinese takeover of domestic firms that are struggling because of the COVID-19 economic downturn. China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Afghanistan are the countries that share a land border with India. China dubbed India’s new rules as “discriminatory” and against the WTO’s principles on free trade.

COVID-19: What Can Western Companies Learn From Chinese Brands?
Here, how Chinese companies reacted to the virus situation in three phrases: peak, recovery, bounce back.

How China’s delivery services platforms are evolving, from smart lockers to ‘semi-finished’ meals
This is the eighth in a series on the impact of the coronavirus on China’s technology sector   The food delivery boom has been a lifesaver for many restaurants in China as they flock to online channels amid social distancing

Coronavirus: China’s rust belt struggles to revive virus-hit economies as brain drain continues
Coronavirus pandemic is adding to existing economic trouble in China’s northeast rust belt provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning    Continued decline of pool of skilled labour, aging population and troubled government finances are making it harder to confront economic fallout from virus

China is focused on softening the economic blow of coronavirus, not making a quick recovery
Since China’s recovery trajectory will be shaped by external events, including the effects of the pandemic in its demand markets, Beijing is focusing on domestic priorities like jobs, small companies and loosening financial conditions

Tesla raises Model 3 sticker price in China after government kicks off three-year plan to rein in rebates to spur competition
A Tesla Standard Range Model 3 sedan, assembled at the carmaker’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, will now carry a sticker price of 303,550 yuan (US$42,874), compared with 299,050 yuan a week ago The Long Range Model 3 will be priced 1.5 per cent higher at 344,550 yuan when it arrives in showrooms in June, according to Tesla’s website

China promises subsidies to boost falling electric car sales
China is promising more subsidies to shore up plunging electric car sales amid the coronavirus pandemic but set limits that exclude Tesla’s made-in-China model. Subsidies and tax breaks that were due to end this year will be extended by two years in response to “an accumulation of unfavorable factors” including the virus, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.  Beijing has spent billions of dollars subsidizing electrics in hopes of cleaning up China’s smog-choked cities and taking an early lead in a promising global industry.

Coronavirus: US lags in global race for medical supplies from China
Business leaders in both countries say Trump administration outpaced as other countries move more forcefully to secure masks and other protective gear    This has worsened supply shortages across US health care system, exposing medical staff to greater risks and leaving hospitals without vital equipment

The world is waking up to the risks of relying on China for its critical medical supplies
For the US and Europe, the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted China’s dominance in critical medical supplies.     The reliance is now an issue of national security and geopolitical risk, with more countries seeing it as an imperative to decouple and diversify away from China

Why the US and Europe need to draw closer to China and drop the hubris
European solidarity is crumbling in the face of the pandemic and a US-China trade war is meaningless given American dependence on China’s medical supplies. The West needs to see the world as it really is and embrace cooperation with China

Coronavirus: lockdown, vaccine, herd immunity. Can there be a winning exit strategy?
There are many unknowns about Covid-19, but one thing is for sure: every possible way out is riddled with hard choices  Here are four graphs that explain why

Flattening the COVID-19 misery curve
Countries and regions with the highest reported COVID-19 infection and mortality rates are imposing lockdowns to flatten the curve — slowing its spread so that healthcare systems can cope with the increase in patients. But another curve measuring the costs and misery associated with curtailment measures is rising, and approaching catastrophic levels in poor countries. After a prolonged period of lockdown, the time to rethink the balance between the two curves has arrived.

Guangdong’s coronavirus success shows an outbreak can be controlled, study finds
More than 1.6 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in the southern Chinese province   Oxford researcher says studying virus genomes can help reveal transmission patterns as well as travel and contact history

Indonesia’s melancholy Ramadan echoed in Singapore, Malaysia amid coronavirus lockdowns
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, hundreds of millions are unable to congregate during the holy month of Ramadan    Muslims in neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia are also having a more solemn Ramadan as Covid-19 social distancing rules are enforced

Coronavirus: Is social distancing an oxymoron in India?
Health experts and governments across the world have been advising people to practice social distancing to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Bangladesh’s garment industry unravelling
Today, the industry is facing devastating consequences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2.7 million workers have been fired or temporarily suspended. Most have been sent home without pay and more than half of the garment factories have had to shut their operations. By the middle of April, buyers had already cancelled or postponed US$3.2 billion of garment orders from Bangladesh.

Remdesivir Ineffective in Treating COVID-19, Study Suggests
The WHO posted, then deleted, a report summary indicating that patients in Wuhan who received the experimental drug had worse outcomes than those given placebos.

Ethicists warn coronavirus researchers not to cave in to bad science
They say that in the race to find treatments and a vaccine, some have sacrificed rigorous methods and quality control   Ethics professors also criticise public figures for promoting unproven drugs

Japan to subsidize salaries of small businesses’ furloughed workers
New program promises financial support to tiny enterprises hit by the lockdown

Wallonia, a hub for the import of medical material into Europe
During this global health crisis, Wallonia, a region in the Kingdom of Belgium, is proving to be a central logistics platform for the importing of emergency medical equipment into Europe.

Alain Gillard
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