China Press Review – April 7, 2020

Press review

In a first, China knocks U.S. from top spot in global patent race
China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world last year, pushing the United States out of the top spot it has held since the global system was set up more than 40 years ago, the U.N. patent agency said on Tuesday.

What follows a pandemic, unemployment and emergency stimulus? Inflation, most likely
It’s rare to see the world economy hit simultaneously by demand and supply shocks  However, central banks now printing vast sums of money in their responses to Covid-19 might be sowing the seeds of global inflation

Coronavirus could leave the world an even more unequal place. That would be a real disaster
The pandemic is hurting small businesses, and companies that survive Covid-19 shutdowns may find themselves with less competition. This is what we have seen following the Spanish flu pandemic and the September 11 attacks

What Does the Coronavirus Mean for EU-China Relations?
2020 promised to be an especially consequential year for the EU-China relationship, but three highly anticipated summits have been thrown into uncertainty, and diplomacy between Europe and China is now completely consumed by the coronavirus crisis. Over the past several weeks, China has tried to claim a positive role in handling the pandemic through “mask diplomacy”—shipping medical equipment and expertise to disease-stricken areas of Europe. That has generated praise from some European leaders, notably from Italy and EU accession candidate Serbia, who have simultaneously expressed frustration about a lack of support from Brussels. GermanyFrance, and the EU Parlament, aghast at the challenge to European solidarity, have countered by highlighting the work they are doing to help fight the coronavirus in Europe. What will happen next? How is the Coronavirus pandemic impacting EU-China relations? And how might it shape the relationship in the years to come?

Europe’s ‘17+1’ countries dissatisfied with China relations, report says, as summit is postponed
Trade deficit with China has grown and the 17 Central and Eastern European nations should demand more from Beijing, European scholars write   Coronavirus has forced the delay of China’s summit with the bloc, multiple sources confirm

COVID-19 triggers a reset of domestic and international institutions
As governments try to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, they must have a view of the immediate future if they are to act rationally. Among the factors shaping that view must be the consequences of the pandemic for populist nationalism, the need for governments to resist the allure of turning their backs on international cooperation and the pandemic’s debilitating effect on US–China relations.

Giga Shanghai is now the only Tesla plant making cars
Gigafactory Shanghai is now the only Tesla production facility making cars following a full-scale shutdown of its factories in California and New York alongside continued job cuts at its Nevada factory, as Covid-19 infections in the US continue to escalate.    Giga Shanghai resumed operations in early February with support from the Chinese government. It has been relatively insulated from the pandemic and its contribution to the company’s annual target of 500,000 cars is expected to rise as a result

US chipmaking industry pushes back on proposed changes affecting semiconductor exports to China
The proposed changes to US export controls impact the sale of certain semiconductors and other technology to China  Industry groups say they may ‘result in significant impacts to the semiconductor industry, its global supply chain, and the broader technology sector’

How Covid-19 has affected online retail in China
An analysis of consumer activity and economic consequences  Quick and decisive action by Chinese health authorities have attempted to contain the spread of the virus and decrease the number of overall infections. The potential world health crisis posed by Covid-19 is rightfully being taken seriously by both national and international bodies around the world.   But a return to normalcy in China and around the world is not imminent. When it comes to Chinese consumer habits, normalcy pre-and-post coronavirus will be different. Because if the news that e-commerce is often a more convenient and increasingly common way to shop hadn’t sunk in before the outbreak, those who have turned to the internet to buy products that help them live their lives might well consider it the new normal.

China cosmetics sales rebound in March as coronavirus outbreak proves to be a temporary setback
Sales of face packs and make-up removers on Pinduoduo rise more than fivefold in March compared to February  Sales of cosmetics improved in March from the 60-80 per cent plunge in February as consumption fell because of the lockdown, said Jefferies analyst Anne Ling
Covid-19 Triumph of the Pessimists – Hello China
China is this really conservative country that allows almost no immigration and rejected a fast change to market economics. China does things slow and careful. Chinese people earn 100 and save 50. They have no confidence for the future.  China is a heavy culture. The conservatives rule. China is good at large projects and at finishing them because they are careful people. They plan ahead and save carefully. Chinese are not like Filipinos. They are not Californians. Chinese are like the opposite. Not everyone is conservative in China, but the domimant ethos is or you could not stomp out the diseases after such a bad start.  See also Chinese Cultural Strengths That We Can Use.  So everyone is learning from China now. The pessimists and pessimism are winning in every country now. It just takes a lot longer for the pessimists to win in California and Italy.

Covid-19 Devastates 2030 Asia Sustainable Development Goals
Reproductive health services are essential services, including during pandemics

Japan declares state of emergency in Tokyo and six other regions
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a monthlong state of emergency, designating seven prefectures, including Tokyo, as areas of concern as the country steps up efforts to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.

Hong Kong’s wealthy ‘silver seniors’ create gap in market for high-end elderly homes
Shortage of high-end elderly homes looms as wealth grows with ageing population   Hong Kong could consider stipulating space for private elderly homes as condition in future land sales

How Alibaba built China’s health code
One of the biggest innovations in China’ fight against coronavirus is the “health code.” In early February, Alibaba helped the Hangzhou municipality stand up a trial app. The idea was to use big data to help monitor control the virus’ spread individual by individual so that communities could more quickly return to normal. The company and provincial governments across China were able to stand up the app nationwide within a few weeks

How China made its COVID-19 lockdown work
Fighting against the spread of COVID-19 requires people to maintain social distancing and isolate from sources of infection, as advised by the World Health Organization. China’s approach was a ‘draconian’ lockdown. Not only were municipalities closed, but also communities, housing estates, and sometimes individual buildings.  Despite all of these arrangements, general confusion and mistakes increased social tension at the beginning of the lockdown. These mistakes happened when community-based staff were overwhelmed and overworked. It was a steep learning curve, especially for those not professionally trained. The experience and lessons from China show that communities provide the most important support structure to medical professionals in the battle against COVID-19. While one cannot generalise everything about the Chinese case, action needs to be taken at the community level in every country to minimise the human cost imposed by the virus on wider society.

China reports zero daily deaths from coronavirus for the first time since January
Milestone comes as nation struggles with ongoing outbreaks, including in Wuhan where dozens of residences have been locked down again

Coronavirus: Why China’s claims of success raise eyebrows
China has reported no new deaths from coronavirus anywhere in the country, for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak. But as the BBC’s Robin Brant writes, there are lingering questions over how far these figures, and therefore China’s narrative on the outbreak, can be trusted.

How does a coronavirus antibody home test kit work, and how do I get one?
The Government has bought 3.5 million finger-prick antibody tests that could soon radically transform the UK’s response to Covid-19  The Government has announced that Britons will be able to conduct coronavirus antibody tests at home, with finger-prick kits that will be available from Amazon and Boots.    But what are these tests – and do they work?

China’s Three Gorges Dam seeks to raise US$3.5 billion in a stock sale, in country’s biggest fundraising this year
China Three Gorges Renewable Group is seeking to raise 25 billion yuan selling 8.57 billion shares in Shanghai  The assets to be listed are mainly domestic solar and wind farms, as well as small hydro power plants, with a total capacity of almost 10 gigawatts

Coronavirus: How China’s army of food delivery drivers helped keep country going during outbreak
Buying and paying for meals and supplies online was already second nature for many Chinese before the Covid-19 lockdown    The supply and delivery networks that were already in place were able to work with the authorities in cities like Wuhan

To Halt COVID-19, Protect Renters
Renters continue to lack the same urban rights and protections as homeowners. That divide has never made less than in the middle of a pandemic.This February, not long after an outbreak of COVID-19 in the central city of Wuhan had become a national epidemic, my local neighborhood committee in Shanghai posted a notice informing residents how to register for the chance to buy face masks. There was a catch, however. To register, residents had to present not just their state-issued ID card, but also their property deed. Renters without deeds were ineligible.   As COVID-19 spread, it accentuated long-standing fault lines in Chinese society — between rural and urbanmigrant and local. Renters, too, have faced unexpected challenges. In order to control population flow and keep the virus outside their borders, many cities have restricted or discouraged renters from returning from their Lunar New Year vacations, regardless of their health status. Local officials in the eastern city of Kunshan required renters from any of seven at-risk provinces to be repatriated. And a neighborhood in southwestern city Chengdu announced that, if renters wanted to return home, they and their landlord would each have to pay a 500,000 yuan ($70,600) deposit.

Luckin Co-Founders Hand Over Shares to Lenders After Defaulting on Half Billion Dollar Loan
Scandal-plagued Luckin Coffee’s two founders, Lu Zhengyao, also known as Charles Lu, and Qian Zhiya, also known as Jenny Qian, have reportedly handed over shares in the Chinese chain to a group of lenders after a company controlled by Lu’s family defaulted on a $518 million loan. The news comes just days after Luckin confessed to fabricating sales worth 2.2 billion yuan ($310 million) for much of 2019, causing the company’s shares to drop nearly 80% in U.S. trading.

India Jobless Rate Is Above 23% Amid Lockdown, Survey Shows
India’s unemployment rate could have climbed to more than 20% as the economy lost jobs after a nationwide lockdown took effect in the last week of March, according to a survey by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt.     The jobless rate was 23.4% for the week ended April 5 based on a sample size of 9,429 observations, Mahesh Vyas, the chief executive officer of CMIE, wrote. The private sector research group relied on telephonic interviews after suspending their regular survey in the last week of March

US warns China not to ‘exploit’ virus for sea disputes
The United States on Monday warned China not to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to exert itself in the South China Sea after Vietnam said Beijing sank a trawler.

Zoom’s security backlash points to bigger threats in coronavirus-led telecommuting wave, experts say
Zoom has become the work-from-home app of choice for tens of millions of people telecommuting due to the coronavirus pandemic   It is now facing backlash over a series of security and privacy lapses, but security experts say the issues are broader than just one platform

Coronavirus crisis: 85% of 500 richest people lose money; China has the last laugh
It is interesting to note that the United States, which dominates the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with close to 35 per cent billionaires, saw only 13 per cent US billionaires with a YTD jump in their fortunes

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