China Press Review – April 9, 2020

Press review

China’s Leaders Focus on Domestic Economy as Global Risks Rise
China’s top leaders pledged to expand domestic demand to boost public consumption and investment as they see “greater difficulties” ahead with the pandemic threatening the global economy.   Governments at all levels should work to make sure the services sector can return to normal operations to encourage consumption, and also push for faster construction of investment projects, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a politburo meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping. The Wednesday meeting also called for more support for small businesses and the re-opening of shopping malls and markets.

Japan to pay firms to leave China, relocate production elsewhere as part of coronavirus stimulus
More than US$2 billion of the country’s record economic stimulus package will be used to help companies move production away from China    The move coincides with what should have been a celebration of friendlier ties between the two countries, before the pandemic struck

China may forge ahead of the US in AI chip race, but at what cost to both?
With decoupling in trade and technology proceeding apace, China’s focus on this critical component of its hi-tech development reflects a desire to be self-sufficient. But technology warfare based on techno-nationalism benefits no one in the end

China’s AI startups already raised $420 million in April
Chinese AI startups have raised at least $420 million this month, defying a steep drop in fundraising in China’s tech sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic.  China’s AI firms have grown off the back the government’s drive to become a leader in the technology by 2020 but haven’t been immune to the outbreak of the flu-like virus.

Swift recovery? China’s economy beyond Covid-19
No quick turnaround Falling oil prices could be a double-edged sword for China, however. The country will benefit from lower oil prices, as about 60% of its oil is imported. The government will also, if oil prices remain around current levels, be likely to boost its oil reserves and take advantage of the attractive prices.  That said, the offset of these positives will be felt at massive oil-focused, state-owned enterprises, which will bear the brunt of low global oil prices. Setbacks will also be felt in the renewable energy sectors such as wind and solar, whose growth has been boosted in recent years by the high prices of competitive energy sources such as oil.    While we are optimistic, it still remains early days as to whether a swift recovery for China is on the horizon.

Coronavirus: China’s textile exporters brace for pain amid wave of cancelled overseas orders
Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the entire fashion development, order and production cycle this year     Textile traders say orders from US and Europe may be very low until August or September

Coronavirus: China’s March car sales down over 40 per cent, but Tesla had record month
China’s March car sales fell 40.8 per cent from a year earlier to 1.08 million units, the China Passenger Car Association said on Thursday     Tesla, though, sold 10,160 vehicles in China in March, its highest ever monthly sales in the world’s largest car market

Coronavirus: is China re-pegging the yuan to the US dollar to avert a financial crisis?
In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) effectively held the exchange rate at 6.83 from late 2008 until June 2010
Amid the current economic and financial environment, a PBOC official said late last month that the yuan would fluctuate around the level of 7 yuan ‘in the future’

Coronavirus: ex-US officials urge rolling back tariffs as one way to improve China cooperation on pandemic
‘We are not doing our own economies … any favours by having a trade war in place after this pandemic is over,’ a former commerce secretary says    Still, some administration officials and legislators contend the crisis supports further disengagement from China

Coronavirus: China’s financial stability body led by Liu He steps up meetings amid heightened financial risks
Financial Stability and Development Committee, which oversees Chinese financial regulation, has been meeting intensively amid the economic fallout from Covid-19    The agency, chaired by Vice-Premier Liu He, agreed this week on more flexible monetary policy and greater support for small firms

How next-generation information technologies tackled COVID-19 in China
COVID-19 is a major global public health challenge. Its outbreak in China presented the fastest spread, the widest scope of infections and the greatest degree of difficulty in controlling infections of any public health emergency since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949  In the battle against the outbreak, China actively leveraged digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, blockchain, and 5G, which have effectively improved the efficiency of the country’s efforts in epidemic monitoring, virus tracking, prevention, control and treatment, and resource allocation.

Virus could push half a billion people into poverty
The economic fallout from coronavirus could increase global poverty by up to half a billion, Oxfam has warned.

Can Luxury Brands Stand Out With Humor?
Occasionally, brands have tried to use humor in their Chinese marketing, but it will only work if they first understand the comedy that is popular in China today. During the many, many weeks of lockdown in China, social media channels like Weibo and Tik Tok were flooded with humor viral videos, as bloggers, tucked away in quarantine, turned the banality of daily life into one short funny video after another. Examples: a man fishing in a fish tank, people playing mahjong wearing cosmonaut suits, a lion dance performed by a family hidden under a giant plastic bag, or a woman going out to exercise in a full Christmas Tree costume, sporting Michael Kors handbag.

The Supply Chain Of The Future Is In China
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand, retailers are discovering that modern supply chains must now be optimized and managed remotely.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand, retailers are learning a valuable lesson: modern supply chains must now be optimized and managed remotely. But few businesses — or even countries — are currently moving in this direction. China, however, is a proactive digital country that enables businesses to experiment with digitally-run supply chains.

World Health Organisation chief slams US for politicising coronavirus crisis
Tedros denies he is favourable to China and thanks the US for its generous funding, but says the two countries should work together   He also singles out the Taiwan government for condoning what he says were online attacks against him

While the World Spends on Coronavirus Bailouts, China Holds Back
Beijing has tried to protect jobs and spur lending, but it may have to do more to get its huge, damaged and incredibly complex economy going again.

Symptom-free Covid-19 patients must be reported within two hours: Chinese government
New guidelines aim to limit risk posed by healthy carriers to virus containment    Some cases may be pre-symptomatic and will go on to show symptoms later

On the other side of a coronavirus nightmare, Wuhan wakes up to start again
Two reporters from the South China Morning Post, who visited the city just as it began its lockdown, return to assess the mood as it reopens    Doctors, business owners and residents describe their battle to contain a deadly outbreak, and trauma that will take longer to heal

How did coronavirus start and where did it come from? Was it really Wuhan’s animal market?
Coronavirus outbreak

Police tape blocks off Wuhan’s Huanan market, linked to several of China’s first coronavirus patients. Scientists are trying hard to determine how Covid-19 started, where it came from and how it spread to humans

Coronavirus crisis chief leaves China Covid-19 epicentre in sign of Beijing’s faith that Hubei is on the mend
Chen Yixin reported at work in the national capital presiding over law enforcement issues Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan remains commander-in-chief in charge of the anti-coronavirus campaign in Hubei

Chinese ventilator makers desperate for parts as global demand for machines hits 1 million
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi appeals to Switzerland for components as medical supplies producers face ‘impossible task’     Under current conditions, China’s ventilator suppliers can meet only a fifth of global needs, industry officials warn

India’s critical role in combating COVID-19
COVID-19 is sweeping across all major economies and will have unprecedented impacts on India, with over 3500 confirmed cases of infection and 99 deaths so far. While infection rates are less than the most seriously affected countries, the Indian government faces two formidable challenges. It must prevent economic free-fall while ensuring that community transmission of COVID-19 is minimised in the world’s second most populous country.

Zoom CEO acknowledges security ‘missteps’, says impact of calls routed through China was ‘minor’
‘What I can promise you is that we take these issues very, very seriously,’ Zoom CEO Eric Yuan says   The video conferencing app has seen a surge of users staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also a backlash over security and privacy issues

Zoom hires ex-Facebook security chief Alex Stamos as Google bans desktop app
Safety and privacy concerns about Zoom’s fast-growing videoconferencing app is driving a global backlash against the company   Taiwan and Germany have put restrictions on Zoom’s use, while some companies like SpaceX and Google have banned the app

China sports firm illegally used Michael Jordan’s name but did not violate image rights, top court rules
Supreme Court rules Qiaodan Sports cannot use the Chinese name of the six-time NBA champion, but its logo can still include the silhouette of a basketball player     China is currently drafting an action plan on intellectual property protection as required by the phase-one trade deal with the US

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
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