China Press Review – April 8, 2020

Press review

An instant economic crisis: How deep and how long?
Analysis of a range of economic data tracks the worsening effects of the pandemic in the West—and the cautious reopening of social and economic life in China.

As other economies panic over Covid-19, China can bide its time and stimulate its way to the future
Other economies brought out the big guns last month, but not China. It is cautious about an all-out stimulus, after experiencing the side effects of the previous round    Instead, Beijing should formulate a forward-looking stimulus programme, focusing on incentives for consumption as well as infrastructure investment

Welcome to the $1.5 Trillion Minefield of Defaulted Chinese Debt
It’s tough to find a bigger bull on delinquent Chinese debt than Benjamin Fanger. The Mandarin-speaking founder of ShoreVest Partners, a Guangzhou-based asset manager, built his firm around the idea that there’s money to be made from the nation’s growing pile of distressed credit. He says the opportunity is larger now than at any time in the 15 years since he started analyzing China’s nonperforming loans, or NPLs. He predicts it will only get bigger.

Don’t Count on China to Lift the Global Economy
A Vast Rural Underclass Is Dragging Down Growth

The future of ‘Made in China’ after coronavirus?
With the European Union’s future as an economic powerhouse at stake, policymakers are looking east. German economy minister Peter Altmaier called China “a particularly successful country in terms of industrial policy.”     Its achievements over the past 40 years – and in digital technologies like artificial intelligence more recently – are seen as the fruits of an unabashed use of industrial policy. European politicians are calling for the EU to adopt a similarly active strategy, even to copy China in parts.

China’s consumers are starting to binge on travel, cosmetics again in signs economy is reviving
Bookings for domestic travel, hotels have risen on, while online transactions on Pinduoduo surge   Gains may not recover to last year’s levels just yet with the global economy facing the threat of recession, analysts say

Coronavirus: China yet to meet key phase one trade deal target due to Covid-19 lockdown
China was due to release intellectual property action plan 30 working days after phase one trade deal came into force on February 15   US officials said to be ‘frustrated’, but content with progress on agricultural purchases and market access

US-China war of words over the coronavirus crisis may well reignite the trade war
As the White House moves to systematically reduce US trade dependencies on China, the pandemic is putting pressure on the implementation of the terms of the phase one deal even before the difficult phase two negotiations begin. The uneasy US-China truce is unlikely to last long

Cheaper loans, delayed payments: online lenders do their bit to help SMEs in Hubei rebuild after coronavirus outbreak
Alibaba-backed online lender MYbank said on Wednesday it would waive first-month interest for micro merchants applying for loans in Wuhan     Small entrepreneurs say waiving of interest, penalties and cheaper loans gives them hope for the future.

Coronavirus pandemic could weigh on mergers, IPOs longer than Sars, deal makers say
IPOs rebounded within a year of Sars epidemic, 2007-08 global financial crisis
Economic fallout of latest pandemic could dampen deal activity longer than Sars, deal makers say

Coronavirus: China’s state pension fund under increasing pressure after fee cuts to help struggling businesses
Businesses can reduce or even stop contributions to provincial pension funds amid the outbreak in an effort to help them weather the current economic storm    But China’s state pension fund was already under pressure from an ageing population, with fears it could run dry by 2035 even before the pandemic

How COVID-19 Will Transform the Fresh Food Industry in China
The COVID-19 virus, of which the origin is not fully confirmed, is generally believed to have infected its first human host at a wildlife market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic. The highly contagious novel coronavirus, following the SARS virus in 2003, has reignited concerns on wildlife protection and fresh food safety in China. Consequential measures taken to contain the virus spread, such as city lockdowns, transport restrictions, and delays in resuming businesses, have also begun to upend the country’s fresh food industry and supply chain.  The crisis underscores an urgency Chinese business might soon encounter whereby consumers in the country become more wary of the sourcing and distribution of their meat products and other food supplies.  Given the cultural significance of fresh food in China – this is a time to look at new investment opportunities to tap into. This includes industrial farming, processing, storage, distribution – the whole gamut of the supply chain

The record shows China has risen to the coronavirus challenge admirably, whatever the US may believe
Mistakes were made in the early days, including attempts to block information and impede investigations at home, but Beijing has been upfront with the international community about Covid-19 Amid mutual finger-pointing, both the US and China in fact faced similar problems in their battle to contain the pandemic

It’s time to rewire the fashion system: State of Fashion coronavirus update
Fashion executives are focusing on crisis management now but eventually must shift to reimagining the industry. How will changes to the global economy and consumers’ behavior affect fashion in the postcoronavirus world?

How Will Stores Prepare To Reopen In A Post-Virus China?
Offline stores weren’t exactly doing well before the COVID-19 outbreak, so there’s a lot of hand-wringing as they prepare strategies for reopening all across China. As new COVID-19 infections cease, and life starts returning to normal, reopening businesses has become the top priority in China. After staying home for more than two months, consumers are itching to return to marketplaces and rediscover the shopping and entertainment they’ve sorely missed.

China’s top mobile operators to launch 5G messaging services
China’s three major mobile operators on Wednesday (April 8) unveiled plans to upgrade traditional text messaging services with the help of 5G technology.    China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom jointly released a white paper on 5G messaging services, vowing to improve their text messaging system to give users access to enhanced features including the sharing of high-resolution photos, files, locations and coupons.

How China’s industrial internet is fighting COVID-19
The involvement of Tencent, a Chinese internet technology company, in promoting the power of digital, is testament to the rise of the industrial internet in the fight against the virus. While the consumer internet provides services such as social networking and e-commerce to consumers who are self-isolating, its industrial counterpart, focusing primarily on business and industry, has worked to safeguard society’s normal operation, making a profound contribution which we will call the “ACE effect”

China demands unremitting containment efforts as Wuhan lockdown lifted
Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan has demanded no lax efforts in the COVID-19 response to prevent a resurgence of the outbreak as the hard-hit city of Wuhan lifted its 76-day lockdown. Sun, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Tuesday inspected railway and bus stations, shopping malls, supermarkets and restaurants in the central China city a day before the lifting of travel restrictions imposed on Jan. 23 to stem the outbreak.
Exclusive: U.S. grants GE license to sell engines for China’s new airplane
The Trump administration on Tuesday granted a license to General Electric Co (GE.N) to supply engines for China’s new COMAC C919 passenger jet, a spokeswoman for the company said.

The Investment War With China: US Investment in China
Part three of this series looks at American pressure on U.S. foreign direct investment in China

China ‘leads world in coronavirus research’, followed by United States
Nearly 300 clinical studies are under way in 39 countries and regions in search for an effective treatment for Covid-19   New index documenting all current studies will be updated weekly

Coronavirus: Donald Trump threatens to cut off WHO funding over agency’s handling of outbreak
US president says World Health Organisation knew about the dangers of the coronavirus months before it took any action  The United States is the largest contributor to the 194-member UN body

Big pool of coronavirus cases going undetected, German researchers say
Widespread testing and isolation of infected people ‘needed to stop renewed outbreak’ About 6 per cent of cases identified worldwide, study estimates

Coronavirus: 68 per cent of cases confirmed in China in past eight days had no symptoms
Of the 885 infections reported between March 31 and April 7, 601 people showed no visible signs, National Health Commission says    But scientists say data set is too small to draw any conclusions about how Covid-19 spreads

Coronavirus: low antibody levels raise questions about reinfection risk
Scientists in Shanghai say some recovered patients show no signs of the neutralising proteins   Early-stage findings could have implications for vaccine development and herd immunity, they say

Japan’s Coronavirus State Of Emergency Isn’t A Lockdown. So What Does It Mean?
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other hard-hit Japanese prefectures to fortify the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. But this is no European or Wuhan-style lockdown. A look at what Japan’s state of emergency entails:

Survey: Japanese consumer sentiment during the coronavirus crisis
Japanese consumers not optimistic about economy, despite delayed onset of COVID-19 and response to it.

Coronavirus: N95, surgical face mask or DIY? Experts say ‘something better than nothing’
After the United States recommended citizens make their own cloth face masks, experts weigh in on their effectiveness  Research shows surgical masks work, but even the gold standard N95 respirators should not be used as a substitute for social distancing, scientists warn

How China can take the lead on protecting nature after COVID-19
The unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is having undeniable human and economic impacts. China has been hit hard by the virus but, as one of the first countries to see a decline in the rate of infections, also has a leadership opportunity in the post-COVID-19 future. A focus on nature could provide opportunities to recover from this pandemic, as well as prevent future such crises.

China’s new ‘skiing’ plane to have sea test this year after coronavirus delay: reports
Work on prototype of AG600 back to full capacity in Hubei as maker prepares for first maritime flight, according to state media     The size of a Boeing 737, the aircraft can collect water for firefighting, and perform patrol and rescue operations

COVID-19 calls for international economic policy coordination
The COVID-19 outbreak is ravaging the world. The human costs are rising day by day, and its social, financial and economic ramifications are already immense. By now it is clear that the pandemic will be remembered as a crisis comparable to the 2008 global financial crisis. The immediate policy measures being taken are naturally focussed on health and hygiene, aimed at containing the spread of the virus and minimising deaths. But a coordinated international economic response is also imperative.

Coronavirus: ‘Please learn from Wuhan’s mistakes’
The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus pandemic originated, is finally lifting its 11-week quarantine as infections and deaths have tailed off.   As they emerge from their long lockdown, residents share the lessons they’ve learned from the outbreak, and offer encouraging words to the rest of the world.

As Wuhan Reopens, Couples Quick to Tie, and Undo, the Knot
The city registered 96 marriages and 46 divorces Tuesday.

The 10 Richest Chinese Billionaires In 2020 – Forbes
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, China boasts a record number of billionaires, including a familiar face who retakes the country’s number one spot.

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