China Press Review – August 8, 2018

Press review

China’s July exports rise more than expected despite US tariffs
China’s exports growth unexpectedly accelerated in July despite fresh U.S. tariffs, though a still-wide trade surplus with the United States looks set to keep Beijing and Washington locked in a bitter dispute that has rattled financial markets.

China’s trade surplus with US drops slightly in July to US$28 billion, as tariffs start to bite
Exports to America fall 2.5 per cent from June, while imports decline by 1.5 per cent, according to customs figures

US finalises next China tariff list targeting another US$16 billion in imports
Customs will begin collecting the new duties on 279 product lines, down from 284 items on the initial list, as of August 23

Tariff on US imports would add to price pressures on LNG from weak yuan and global market gain
A tariff on imports of US LNG would add to the rising cost burden for Chinese natural gas importers and consumers, already suffering from the impact of a weaker yuan and higher international market prices.

China targets American diamonds, alcohol and LNG with latest tariff threat
Consumers of high-end products could feel the pinch if Beijing’s new duties on US imports come into play

Trump’s Tariffs Are Changing Trade With China. Here Are 2 Emerging Endgames.

But beneath the acrimony, two potential paths for China seem to be emerging, according to participants in the trade negotiations and their advisers. Both would deliver trade wins for President Trump and his more moderate advisers, while also letting President Xi Jinping of China push ahead with his ambitious industrial plan to build national champions in cutting-edge technologies. Hundreds of Western companies already have been reconsidering China’s role in their supply chains, according to several people involved in such decisions. Executives are increasingly looking for ways to transfer the final assembly of goods to factories outside China, mainly in low-wage countries elsewhere in Asia or in Mexico.

China’s new intellectual star had warned Beijing it was being too complacent over Donald Trump
Trade war vindicates previously unknown academic’s warning that US president’s anti-China diatribes should not be dismissed as campaign rhetoric

Will the trade war force China to fold? The US’ confidence may be misguided
Neal Kimberley says though the Trump administration has shown no signs of doubt that it has a superior position in the trade war, a closer look shows why China is unlikely – and perhaps unable – to back down, so both sides need to come back to negotiations

The truth about US–China trade
China doesn’t want to fight Trump’s escalating trade war, but it will defend itself. At the same time, it is reaching out to other foreign investors to counterbalance US actions. The United States may lose investment opportunities if the Trump administration persists. Worse, the President’s actions recall the 1930s when the US Congress passed the protectionist Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act. The result was a worldwide trade war, a currency war and finally World War II. The American people should remember that history and oppose Trump’s trade war on China.

The truth about US–China trade

First EU-China investment fund backed by Juncker Plan raises €600 mln for mid-sized companies
Cathay Capital has raised an initial €600 million for its fund Cathay Midcap II, which targets €1.2 billion to finance mid-cap companies, according to a press release by the European Commission that was made public on August 6.

First EU-China investment fund backed by Juncker Plan raises €600 mln for mid-sized companies

CEE: Where Is China Investing?
China will continue to deepen its investment presence in the infrastructure markets of Central and Eastern Europe in service of its broader aim of increasing logistical connectivity throughout Eurasia.

China is buying a world of headaches
Given enough time and money, Belt and Road may be transformative for these unfortunate lands. Still, there’s no reason to believe the transformation will be smooth or steady. The problems of these regions, which have perplexed Russia and the West for centuries, won’t magically melt away under the influence of Beijing. Instead, for the price of One Belt and One Road, China is buying a world of headaches. China’s future is ultimately hostage to a paradox: On one hand, this great nation seeks to reach out to the world, as it failed to do when first given the chance some seven centuries ago. But at the same time, China seeks to wall its people off from the free flow of ideas and information so essential to the globalized West. No nation can have it both ways. If you dive into the pool, you’re going to get wet.

Southeast Asia’s connectivity is critical to China’s belt and road … but can Asean pull it off?
Why links to Southeast Asia are so critical to China’s belt and road

Foreign Aid With Chinese Characteristics
CIDCA may professionalize Beijing’s foreign aid agenda, but it will also institutionalize a mercantilist model of development.

The U.K. and France need to support one another against a “rising China” and a “less reliable” U.S.
Meanwhile, China’s economic and political influence continues to grow throughout the world, specifically with its multi-trillion dollar “Belt and Road” initiative. The massive infrastructure project aims to better connect China to the world through a series of maritime and land trade routes. Offering low-interest loans to economically poor countries to build highways, ports and trains, China is rapidly increasing its geopolitical influence.

China retail sales fall in July in blow to government plan to have shoppers offset trade war effects
Shares in retailers also decline after the figures, which come amid signs of an economic slowdown

China’s top 10 cross-border export e-commerce apps 2018
The transactions of cross-border e-commerce in China reached US$1.22 trillion in 2017, with an increase of 20% from 2016 (US$1.01 trillion). The transactions of export e-commerce totaled US$0.84 trillion in 2016, up 22.49% from last year, and reached US$0.42 trillion in the first half year of 2017.

Hema customers can track farm-to-shelf journey for food
The New Retail-driven supermarket chain’s food-tracking system comes as Chinese consumers grow more sophisticated in their food choices and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Hema is among the first grocery chains in China to offer such service. Since its implementation in January, over 1,700 items in nine categories—including meat, seafood, rice, tofu and soy products, fruits, vegetables, poultry and eggs, dairy and cooking oil—have been included in the system.

Alibaba plans to merge food delivery units amid competition from Tencent-backed Meituan
What happened: Alibaba intends to merge its food delivery units, namely and Koubei, and raise funds for the new mega-entity. Alibaba is reportedly looking to raise between $3 billion and $5 billion for the combined business, while SoftBank’s Vision Fund is expected to take the lead. The fundraising could value the new unit up to $25 billion.

Alibaba plans to merge food delivery units amid competition from Tencent-backed Meituan

If you invested $1,000 in Alibaba when it went public, here’s how much you’d have now
An investment into Alibaba at the close of its first day of public trading would have increased in value by about 90 percent as of Aug. 6, 2018, according to CNBC calculations. Analysts expressed optimism about the Chinese tech giant’s prospects, but they warned it is not immune to a sudden negative turn in market sentiment about China’s economy.

Pinduoduo beware: Alipay just launched a group buying function
The success of the newly-listed e-commerce Pinduoduo’s seems to have alerted other established online shopping platforms. Alibaba’s mobile payment application Alipay has quietly launched a new group buying function together with its online shopping platform Taobao. Alibaba is hoping to catch up with the trend of social media-enabled group buys at low prices which made Pinduoduo one of its most notable rivals.

Pinduoduo beware: Alipay just launched a group buying function

China orders recall of vaccines from abroad
Chinese investigators said they have recalled faulty vaccines produced by the company Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology, some of which have been sold abroad. The vaccine scandal that is believed to have affected hundreds of thousands of children in China is now spreading overseas, according to a statement available Wednesday on the National Health Commission’s website.

China orders recall of vaccines from abroad

Here’s The 7 Bad Boys of China’s Luxury Brands
For many, this includes no drinking, no drugs, no partying, and no romantic partners (none that the media can know about, at least.) This clean-cut image is ideal for luxury brands looking for ambassadors to represent them, targeting the young female market with a gaggle of handsome, “single” men.

Here’s The 7 Bad Boys of China’s Luxury Brands

China says it will cut banks’ reserve ratios to support debt-to-equity swaps
Government will also allow firms to tap capital markets, and speed up the elimination of zombie firms

China’s yuan extends gains as capital outflow worries ease
The central bank raises the reference rate for a second day and tells commercial banks to avoid ‘herd behaviour’

Softbank’s Vision Fund To Invest $3B In Alibaba’s Food Delivery App
SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund plans to lead an investment of US$3 billion to US$5 billion in Alibaba’s food delivery giant, according to a Bloomberg report.

Softbank’s Vision Fund To Invest $3B In Alibaba’s Food Delivery App

Hong Kong home prices may slip as much as 10 per cent, UBS says
Higher borrowing rates to weigh on residential prices, group says, and US-China trade wars could be a further dampener in the city that acts as a re-export hub for the two countries

Chinese demand for offshore property investment will rebound – with or without a trade war
Jesse Friedlander says US-China trade tensions are largely irrelevant to Chinese seeking offshore diversification and, in the longer term, the factors that are causing the recent slowdown will also ease

Chinese property developers face rising complaints as rush to build hits safety and quality
Their earnings under pressure from government market curbs and tight funding, developers are trying to build and sell as many units as they can, as fast as possible

Hong Kong’s ultra-luxury residential prices will defy turning point in the broader home market
Ultra-luxury home prices in the city expected to continue trending higher as mainland billionaires seek out overseas assets

Macau poised to become richest place on the planet by 2020
According to figures from the IMF, the casino hub will overtake Qatar to have the highest per-capita gross domestic produc

The Hole at the Heart of China’s Silk Road
A seething and repressed Xinjiang can’t become a hub for trade.

China’s Tsinghua University Designs Multilayer Graphene Epidermal Electronic Skin
A scientist from China’s Tsinghua University has developed a graphene tattoo-like electronic skin that could be used as biological sensor for medical applications. Electronic skin is an important biomedical sensor that is flexible and stretchable, with high sensitivity and comfort. It can sense body conditions such as pressure, temperature and heart beat. Due to graphene’s flexibility and conductivity, it is an ideal material for electronic skin.

Chinese scientists discover lithium-rich star that could help explain how the universe evolved
A giant star located 4,500 light years from Earth offers new clues for astrophysicists

How Donald Trump’s Taiwan hands approach cross-strait tensions as Tsai Ing-wen lands in America
Top American officials on Asia policy have voiced pro-Taiwan sentiments, but leader’s brief visit to US will follow previous protocol

BBC websites blocked in China after security change
The BBC’s web services are all currently blocked in China, following a decision by the corporation to change the website’s format.

Chinese intellectuals urged to toe the party line after pushbacks on policy
Amid rising tide of discontent, Communist Party tells universities and research institutes to promote ‘patriotic striving spirit’ among academics

Beijing Olympics 10 years on: the legacy crumbles but for the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
Packed with cheering spectators in 2008, most of the Beijing Games sporting venues have been forgotten and left to the elements

Airbnb cancels sleepover on Great Wall of China after backlash
Airbnb has been forced to cancel a scheduled “sleep on the Great Wall of China” competition after it angered authorities in Beijing.

Alain Gillard
Information Officer
Service Asie Pacifique
Place Sainctelette 2
1080 Bruxelles
Tél 02 421 85 09 – Fax 02 421 87 75
Copyright © 2018 awex, All rights reserved.